This Baked Chicken and Rice is loaded with a gorgeous Tomato and Basil flavour. It makes the perfect dinner because it’s all made in one dish!
The BEST Chicken and Rice Recipe!
Fluffy rice, juicy chicken, crispy skin, it’s all going on. We’ll get to the rice bit in just a sec, but first things first let’s talk chicken.
What cut of chicken to use?
For this recipe you’ll want to use bone in skin on chicken thighs. Thighs will cook at the same rate the rice does so work perfectly here. They’re also fattier (so more flavoursome) and often come out more tender than breast does. The bone in will ensure the chicken cooks nice and evenly through the centre, whilst the skin. Well, who doesn’t love crispy skin?!?!
What chicken seasoning to use?
The chicken is one of the main events here, so it’s important to let it shine. As such I coat the chicken in paprika, onion & garlic powder, parsley & basil and s&p before placing on top of the rice. I’ve played around with a few seasoning combos in the past and can tell you this combo is the winner.
Process shots: add seasoning to pot (photo 1), combine (photo 2), place chicken skin side up (photo 3), rub 2/3 seasoning on top (photo 4), flip (photo 5), rub in the rest of the seasoning (photo 6).
Baked Chicken and Rice
Alrighty, chicken seasoned, let’s talk baked chicken and rice.
When I first started experimenting with this recipe I was somewhat apprehensive of how the rice would turn out. But I think you’ll be surprised just how light and fluffy it turns out! The rice also comes out beautifully flavoursome. It soaks up all those gorgeous flavours from the chicken, alongside a few other goodies thrown in the dish too.
Tomato and Basil Chicken
The tomato basil aspect of this dish comes from a few different places to give it a really well rounded flavour, and really push the delicious combo that is tomato and basil.
- Tomato Paste – This is infused into the chicken stock and water which the rice is cooked in.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes – These add a nice bit of texture to the rice and infuse a punchy tomato flavour.
- Dried Basil – This is used to coat the chicken and is also infused in the liquid as the rice cooks.
- Fresh Basil – This is stirred through right at the end to give a final fresh blast of basil.
Both of the tomato and basil ingredients serve different functions and actually add different flavours, so it’s important to use all of them.
What rice to use?
White rice is best here. Brown rice will still be too hard by the time the chicken has cooked. I find long grain comes out the fluffiest, but Basmati also works nicely!
Process shots: add onion to baking dish (photo 1), bake until soft (photo 2), pour in chicken stock and water (photo 3), add tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, dried basil and salt (photo 4), whisk (photo 5), add uncooked rice (photo 6), stir to combine (photo 7), add chicken on top and bake (photo 8).
Baked Tomato Basil Chicken and Rice
You’ll find that once the chicken has cooked nearly all of the liquid will have reduced, which is good. Sometimes though the rice directly underneath the chicken is still slightly undercooked. As such, it’s important to allow everything to rest for 10mins so the rice can finish cooking.
After that, take off the chicken and fluff up the rice with some fresh basil.
Serving Tomato Basil Chicken
This will serve 6 small portions with a side salad. I highly recommend using a leafy green (rocket/arugula or watercress add a good punch of flavour) with parmesan and balsamic glaze. The parmesan and balsamic glaze compliment both the tomato and basil PERFECTLY. If you wanted to add another dish some Roasted Broccolini would also go nicely.
If you’re looking for another one pot rice dinner check out my Meatballs and Rice!
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
One Pan Chicken Dinners
- Roasted Chicken Legs Tray Bake
- Spanish Style Chicken Tray Bake
- Spanish Style Chicken Orzo
- Garlic Lemon Herb Spatchcock Chicken
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this tomato basil chicken and rice shall we?!
How to make Tomato Basil Chicken and Rice (Full Recipe & Video)
Tomato Basil Baked Chicken and Rice
- 8" x 12" / 20cm x 30cm Baking Dish (see notes)
- Small Pot (to combine chicken seasoning)
- Jug (for stock/water)
- Serving Spoon
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
- 6 bone in skin on Chicken Thighs (see notes)
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp EACH: Dried Parsley, Garlic Powder
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Dried Basil
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
Tomato Basil Rice
- 1 1/2 cups (~300g) Uncooked Long Grain Rice
- 1 1/2 cups / 375ml Hot Chicken Stock
- 1 1/2 cups / 375ml Hot Water
- 1 cup / 125g Sun Dried Tomatoes, finely diced (patted dry to remove oil)
- 1/4 cup / 65g Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
- 1 small bunch of Fresh Basil, finely diced
- 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
- 1/2 tsp Salt (can adjust to preference)
- Oil Spray, as needed
- Rocket/Arugula or Watercress
- Shaved Parmesan
- Balsamic Glaze
- In a small pot combine 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder & dried parsley, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp onion powder & dried basil and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Coat the chicken skin-side-up with around 2/3 of the spice mix, lightly rub, then flip over the chicken and rub in the rest of the seasoning. Place to one side.
- Add the diced onion to a baking dish and spray with oil. Pop in the oven at 180C/350F for 10mins, or until it just begins to soften/pick up colour.
- When the onion is cooked, pour chicken stock & water into the baking dish. Add tomato puree, sun dried tomatoes, dried basil and salt. Use a whisk to blend the tomato puree, then add rice and give it all a final stir.
- Place chicken in the dish skin-side-up and coat in a little oil spray. Don't worry if the liquid covers some of the skin, it'll soon reduce in the oven. Pop the whole thing in the oven at 180C/350F for 50mins, or until the chicken skin is crispy and beginning to char, with the liquid reduced right down and the rice around the edges cooked. Let it rest for 5mins.
- Remove the chicken then sprinkle fresh basil over the rice. Use a fork to combine the basil and fluff up the rice. Serve chicken thighs with rice and a side salad of leafy green, shaved parmesan and balsamic glaze!
Quick 1 min demo!
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