*This recipe is adapted from Southern Living’s Chicken & Collards Rice Pilau. I made it during the virus quarantine and didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I modified it below.
What is Rice Pilau?
Here in the U.S. it’s what we call rice pilaf. Pilaf or pilau is a rice dish that involved cooking in broth and adding other ingredients like meat and vegetables. I make a few different versions of “rice pilaf” and often add nuts to give it a little extra crunch and flavor. It’s really a nice change from plain ol’ regular rice. I have found when baking rice in the oven that basmati or jasmine works best because it turns out a little fluffier and less sticky.
You start this dish on the stove in a dutch oven, then finish it in the oven. Get your pot nice and hot before adding the chicken thighs so they get a nice golden crust on the outside. You can turn down the heat after removing them when you cook the veggies to prevent burning and sticking.
It’s fine to skip the wine/sherry step. I like to do this because it helps pull up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, and also adds a little extra flavor, but you can do the same thing with a little broth.
One Pot Chicken and Rice Pilau
4-5 bone-in chicken thighs
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced sweet yellow onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 garlic cloves, diced
splash or white wine or cooking sherry
2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
8 oz frozen chopped kale (or 2 cups fresh)
3 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear until brown and crispy on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let rest on a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until the onions are translucent. Add a splash of cooking sherry, and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the rice, stir to coat, then add the kale, stirring again. Pour in the chicken broth and increase the heat too high.
Return the chicken thighs to the pot and allow to come to a boil. Put the lid on the pot, remove from heat, and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before removing the lid. Enjoy!
p.s. it’s really yummy with a couple shakes of Tabasco sauce!