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Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe

Southern chicken and rice recipe is a classic comfort food that brings the warm, delicious flavors of the South to your dinner table.

This hearty dish features tender chicken pieces cooked together with fluffy long-grain white rice, creating a satisfying meal that you’ll want to prepare time and time again.

With simple ingredients and easy step-by-step instructions, you can master this beloved dish in your own kitchen.

In particular, today we want to introduce you to the very special old-fashioned version, where the magic lies in the minimal ingredient list.

You will need only chicken thighs, olive oil, butter, celery, onion, Garlic, dried thyme, dried parsley, long-grain white rice, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.

The result is a time-tested dish offering a rich and flavorful experience that captures the essence of Southern cuisine.

As you follow this recipe, you will experience the joy of creating a dish that draws inspiration from the rich culinary traditions of the South.

By combining the comforting taste of juicy chicken with the nutty aroma of perfectly cooked rice, you are bound to fall in love with this timeless Southern classic.

So, grab your ingredients, and let’s begin your journey to mastering this delectable Southern chicken and rice recipe.

How to Make Southern Chicken and Rice

Ingredients List

  • About 8 pieces of Chicken thighs (Bone-in, skinless)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Celery, diced
  • 1 cup Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups Long grain white rice
  • 3 cups Chicken broth
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Step-by-step process

Step 1

Begin by prepping all of the ingredients: chop the celery, dice the onion, mince the Garlic, and measure out the white rice, chicken broth, and seasonings.

In a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste them.

Step 2

Place the seasoned chicken pieces in the heated Dutch oven and cook them until they are brown on both sides.

You don’t need to cook them completely through at this point — just aim for a nice sear on each side.

Once the chicken pieces are browned, remove them from the pot and set them aside for now.

In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter.

Step 3

Add the celery, onion, and Garlic, and sauté for about 3-5 minutes until they become tender and slightly translucent.

Next, stir in the dried thyme, dried parsley, and rice.

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, making sure to continuously stir the rice to prevent it from sticking or burning.

Step 4

Slowly pour in the chicken broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

After that step, place the browned chicken pieces back into the pot, arranging them evenly over the rice mixture.

Step 5

Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Once the chicken and rice are cooked, remove the pot from the heat, keeping it covered, and let it stand for 5 minutes so that the rice can fully absorb any remaining liquid.

Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and serve your delicious Southern Chicken and Rice.

Side Dishes for Southern Chicken and Rice

Southern chicken and rice is already a flavorful and satisfying dish, but to make it a complete meal, you might want to consider adding some side dishes.

Here are a few delightful options that perfectly complement the taste and texture of this classic Southern recipe:

Green Beans

A classic southern side dish, green beans can be prepared in various ways to suit your preferences.

You can keep it simple by sautéing them in a little olive oil and Garlic or dress them up with bacon, onions, and tomatoes.

Fresh, crisp green beans offer a nice contrast to the tender chicken and rice, and their bright color adds eye appeal to your plate.

Cornbread

A slice of warm, buttery cornbread is the perfect addition to any traditional southern meal.

Its slightly sweet taste and crumbly texture complement the savory flavors of chicken and rice.

You can also try serving your cornbread in the form of muffins or in a cast-iron skillet for a more rustic presentation.

Coleslaw

This crunchy, tangy salad complements the richness of chicken and rice and adds a refreshing touch to your meal.

You can opt for a classic mayonnaise-based coleslaw or a lighter vinegar-based version.

The crisp raw vegetables in coleslaw contrast nicely with the soft, cooked ingredients in the main dish while adding a pop of vibrant color to the plate.

Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy, cheesy macaroni adds a touch of indulgence to your southern chicken and rice dinner.

Its rich, comforting flavors blend well with the savory chicken and rice, making it a delightful option for rounding out your meal.

Whichever side dishes you choose to serve, remember to balance your plate with a mix of flavors and textures that will keep your taste buds satisfied and enhance the overall enjoyment of your meal.

Ingredient Substitute

Here, we will share a substitute that you can consider to create a delicious recipe.

Vegetable Broth

If you don’t have chicken broth available, you can use vegetable broth as a substitute.

This alternative works well for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet or if you simply want a lighter flavor.

Keep in mind that the taste of the dish may change depending on the specific vegetable broth used.

How to Store Southern Chicken and Rice

Storing Southern Chicken and Rice properly is essential to keeping it fresh and preserving its delicious taste.

To ensure your dish remains fresh and flavorful, follow these guidelines.

Refrigerator

When storing your Southern Chicken and Rice, always use an airtight container.

This will help prevent any unwanted moisture or contaminants from entering the container and affecting the taste and texture of the dish.

Once your Southern Chicken and Rice has cooled down, transfer it into the airtight container.

It is important to let the dish cool to room temperature before placing it in the container to avoid condensation, which can lead to spoilage.

After placing the dish in the airtight container, you can safely store it in the refrigerator.

Make sure your refrigerator is set to a temperature of around 35-40°F (1.7-4.4°C) for optimal food safety.

When properly stored in the refrigerator, Southern Chicken and Rice can last for up to four days.

However, it is recommended to consume the dish within two to three days for the best taste and quality.

Freezer

If you need to store the dish for a more extended period, consider freezing it.

Before freezing, make sure the Southern Chicken and Rice has cooled completely.

Then, transfer it to a freezer-safe, airtight container, leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion when frozen.

You can freeze the dish for up to three months.

To reheat from the freezer, first let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When preparing southern chicken and rice, it’s crucial to avoid some common mistakes to ensure a perfect dish.

Here are some important aspects to pay attention to while cooking this delicious meal.

Incorrect Equipment

Make sure you use the right equipment for cooking rice, such as a rice cooker or a saucepan with a tightly-fitting lid.

This will help the rice to cook evenly and prevent it from becoming sticky or burnt.

Not Rinsing the Rice

Rinsing the rice under cold water before cooking helps remove any excess starch, which can cause the rice to be too sticky.

Make sure to rinse the rice until the water runs clear.

Improper Cooking Temperature

It’s important to cook the chicken at the right temperature to prevent it from drying out or becoming undercooked.

Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken’s internal temperature, which should reach 165°F (74°C) for food safety.

Overcrowding the Pan

Avoid overcrowding the pan when cooking the chicken, as this can cause uneven cooking and prevent the chicken from getting the crispy, golden exterior that makes southern-style chicken so delicious.

Overcooking the Rice

Be mindful of the cooking time for rice, as overcooking can lead to mushy, unappetizing results.

Keep an eye on the rice and follow the recommended cooking times to get perfectly fluffy and tender grains.

Under-seasoning the Dish

Southern chicken and rice is known for its flavorful combination of spices.

Don’t be afraid to generously season the dish with herbs and spices such as dried thyme, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a delicious southern chicken and rice dish that is sure to impress your friends and family.

Good luck, and happy cooking!

southern chicken and rice recipe

Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe

This hearty dish features tender chicken pieces cooked together with fluffy long-grain white rice, creating a satisfying meal that you'll want to prepare time and time again.
With simple ingredients and easy step-by-step instructions, you can master this beloved dish in your own kitchen.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Equipment
  • 1 large, heavy-bottomed pot
  • 1 wooden spoon
Ingredients
  
  • About 8 pieces of Chicken thighs Bone-in, skinless
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Celery diced
  • 1 cup Onion diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups Long grain white rice
  • 3 cups Chicken broth
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
 
  • Begin by prepping all of the ingredients: chop the celery, dice the onion, mince the Garlic, and measure out the white rice, chicken broth, and seasonings.
    In a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
    Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste them.
  • Place the seasoned chicken pieces in the heated Dutch oven and cook them until they are brown on both sides.
    You don't need to cook them completely through at this point — just aim for a nice sear on each side.
    Once the chicken pieces are browned, remove them from the pot and set them aside for now.
    In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter.
  • Add the celery, onion, and Garlic, and sauté for about 3-5 minutes until they become tender and slightly translucent.
    Next, stir in the dried thyme, dried parsley, and rice.
    Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, making sure to continuously stir the rice to prevent it from sticking or burning.
  • Slowly pour in the chicken broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
    After that step, place the browned chicken pieces back into the pot, arranging them evenly over the rice mixture.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and the chicken is tender and cooked through.
    Once the chicken and rice are cooked, remove the pot from the heat, keeping it covered, and let it stand for 5 minutes so that the rice can fully absorb any remaining liquid.
    Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and serve your delicious Southern Chicken and Rice!

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