Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Chicken and rice casserole is a healthy meal. Read on to learn how to make it right.

Chicken and rice casserole is a healthy meal. Read on to learn how to make it right.

Chicken and rice is an ingredients combination which is open to wide interpretation. Both are so versatile in their own way that chicken and rice casseroles alone can be prepared with a wide variety of additional ingredients to cover an impressive range of tastes. It is important, however, to consider how you are going to keep the casseroled chicken moist and ensure it doesn't become dry and tough. One of the biggest factors in this respect is which part of the chicken you include in your dish. Although breast and leg meat can be used very effectively in many preparations, the recipes on this page all use chicken thighs.

Chicken and rice casserole with biryani spices is one of the recipes featured on this page

Chicken and rice casserole with biryani spices is one of the recipes featured on this page

Fresh chicken thighs

Fresh chicken thighs

There are three chicken thigh and rice casserole recipes featured on this page, each one using chicken thighs prepped in a slightly different way. First of all, you will find a recipe incorporating whole chicken thighs, followed by one for boned but otherwise whole chicken thighs. This latter recipe is preceded by a video with full instructions on how to remove the bones. The final recipe uses skinned, boned and chopped chicken thighs.

It is more than worth pointing out that you should always buy chicken thighs with the bones in where possible and (if appropriate) remove them yourself. This is simply due to the cost of boned chicken thighs being considerably higher than their bone in, precise equivalents.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cauliflower

Freshly chopped parsley garnishes this whole chicken thigh, broccoli and cauliflower rice casserole

Freshly chopped parsley garnishes this whole chicken thigh, broccoli and cauliflower rice casserole

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

25 min

40 min

1 hour 5 min

Two servings

Ingredients

  • 4 whole chicken thighs
  • 6 florets cauliflower
  • 6 florets broccoli
  • 8oz basmati or long grain rice
  • 12 fl oz fresh chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Freshly chopped parsley to garnish
  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C.
  2. Gently heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown and seal for about a minute on each side. Remove to a plate.
  3. Pour the rice in to a fine sieve and rinse very well under running cold water. This removes the excess starch. Tip the rice in to a large ovenproof dish and spread out evenly. Carefully pour in the chicken stock.
  4. Lay the chicken thighs at regular intervals in the dish, skin sides up, interspersed with the cauliflower and broccoli florets. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
  5. Cover the dish with foil, shiny side inwards and bake in the oven for thrity-five to forty minutes.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven with oven protecting gloves and carefully lift the foil away. If an excess of liquid remains (it shouldn't), cook uncovered for five more minutes. Test the chicken thighs with a skewer to ensure the juices run clear. Allow the casserole to rest for ten minutes.
  7. Garnish the dish with the parsley and take to the table for service.

How to Bone Chicken Thighs

Boning chicken thighs is a lot easier than you may think. If this is something you have never attempted before, it is recommended that you watch the short video below, which explains the process very effectively in simple, easy to follow steps.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Chicken thigh and rice casserole infused with fresh tarragon and mushrooms

Chicken thigh and rice casserole infused with fresh tarragon and mushrooms

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

Ready in: 1 hour 10 min

Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, boned
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and moderately finely sliced
  • 8 small button mushrooms, halved
  • 8oz long grain or basmati rice
  • 12 fl oz fresh chicken stock
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh tarragon (leaves only), roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Bone the chicken thighs as instructed in the video above and put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C.
  2. Season the chicken thighs on both sides before sealing and browning in the warmed oil. This may have to be done in two or three batches. Lift the chicken thighs to a plate.
  3. The onions and mushrooms should be added to the pan containing the oil and chicken juices and sauteed for a minute or so.
  4. Wash the rice and put it in an ovenproof dish. Add the onion, mushroom and tarragon and stir to combine before spreading evenly over the dish. Slowly pour in the chicken stock.
  5. Fold the chicken thighs over that the skins are exposed and lay them folded side down in the stock and rice.
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake for thrity-five to forty minutes.
  7. Ensure the liquid has evaporated and that the juices of the thighs run clear. Rest for ten minutes before plating and serving.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Biryani Spices

A biryani spice mixture adds a subtle infusion of flavour to this chicken and rice casserole

A biryani spice mixture adds a subtle infusion of flavour to this chicken and rice casserole

The spice mix used in this recipe is in a quantity to make a slightly spiced dish only. Doubling the quantities of the spices and the vegetable oil will suit those who like their Indian dishes that little bit more spicy.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

Ready in: 2 hour 10 min

Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, skinned, boned and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 small head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 8oz basmati or long grain rice
  • 12 fl oz fresh chicken stock
  • 3" piece of cucumber, sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Small bunch of coriander leaf/cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Pour the vegetable oil in to a large glass or stone bowl and add the spices. Stir to form a paste. Add the chopped chicken thigh meat and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Put the marinated chicken in to a pot and on to a moderately high heat. Seal and brown, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about a minute or so.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and sautee for a further minute. Add the cauliflower for another minute's stirring.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the washed rice, followed by the stock. Stir well before adding to the ovenproof dish and spreading evenly.
  5. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 375F/190C for forty minutes.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven and uncover. Rest for ten minutes. Add the cucumber, tomato and coriander leaf/cilantro. Use a fork to carefully stir through the garnishings and fluff up the rice.
  7. Plate the casserole and garnish with a little more coriander/cilantro.

Comments

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 15, 2013:

Hi, Slappywalker and thank you. The biryani one was an adaptation of something I usually make in a pot with chicken breast meat and I was delighted how it worked prepared in this way.

I promise you, boning chicken thighs is so easy and the price difference for boned and whole is unbelievable. The day after I published this Hub, I decided to look in my local supermarket at precisely what the price difference stands at today. I was more than shocked to see that the boned thighs came in at just under double the price of whole thighs! To me, that is simple robbery. Good luck with it.

Kieron Walker from Saratoga Springs, NY on February 13, 2013:

The casserole with Biryani spices looks awesome...well they all look awesome.

I had always been intimidated to try removing the bones from my own chicken thighs, but the video made it look easier than I thought. It could definitely save me a bit of money in the long haul.

George A. Pepper from Philippines on February 11, 2013:

Great recipe! I feel hungry looking on those pictures.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 10, 2013:

Thank you, KoffeeKlatch Gals. I enjoyed all of them but would put the biryani one as my favourite. Hope you enjoy anything you try.

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on February 09, 2013:

What great recipes. They all look delicious. I don't know which one to try first. Up, interesting and useful.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on February 08, 2013:

Thanks, Carol. Yes, fresh chicken stock does make all the difference where it's available. Hope you continue to enjoy your great chicken meals :)

carol stanley from Arizona on February 08, 2013:

Looks tasty and we eat a lot of chicken at this house. I like all the veggies and using fresh chicken stock.