Maggie Cooper's one-pan chicken and rice.
Maggie Cooper's one-pan chicken and rice. 123rf

Simple chicken and rice treat is no flash in the pan

Regular readers of this column will know my love of easy recipes that require little cleaning up.

No more so than at the moment when I am without a proper kitchen and camping out in the studio while a new one is installed. I'm stuck with a tiny benchtop oven, two hotplates, no running hot water, and no dishwasher (oh, the horror).

This is a very easy and tasty one-pan dish that requires little effort. I bake the onion and garlic for a short time before adding the rest of the ingredients to get the natural sugars out so they're doing what they do best. Serve this with a simple steamed green vegetable. Even I can cope with that.


Serves: 6


2 tbsp olive oil; 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced; 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed; 6 small free-range chicken thighs, bone in; 1 tsp paprika; 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish; 1/2 tsp each garlic and onion powders; 1 1/2 cups long grain rice; 3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered; 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (see note); 1 1/4 cups white wine or water; salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 180C. Place oil in an ovenproof dish and toss onion in the oil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then add garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine paprika, leaves from the thyme, and garlic and onion powders. Rub into chicken thighs.

Add rice and carrots to onion and garlic and combine. Pour stock and wine or water on the rice, then add the chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 180C for 30 minutes. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 200C then bake uncovered for a further 10-15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and chicken is golden. Season to taste with salt (see note) and pepper.

NOTE: If using bought stock rather than homemade, taste dish before adding salt as it may not need it.