This Spanish Chicken and Rice Recipe is the most comforting dinner ever! Filled with flavor and incredible spices and made in one pot, this Spanish chicken dish is sure to please everyone for Sunday supper.
I love the warmth I experience when my stove and oven are both warming my home while cooking the best recipes for my family.
While I may cut corners during the week since it can be so busy, I really try to make a beautiful meal on the weekends that takes a bit more time and feels full of flavor. This Spanish-style chicken with rice recipe definitely falls in that category.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- A one-pot meal means less cleanup!
- A slow-cooked meal that’s mostly hands-off as the rice cooks on the stove and then finishes off in the oven.
- A hearty and delicious meal! It’s perfect for those cooler nights when you’re craving a warming and comforting meal.
- A healthy dish made with simple, wholesome ingredients.
What Is Spanish Chicken and Rice?
The flavors of this Spanish rice and chicken recipe are magical; both intense and subtle at the same time.
While it takes a bit of time to cook, it’s an easy way to use one pot to make a weeknight meal. This is real comfort food, the kind that makes you want to lay down for a nap after you indulge in your second (or third or fourth- not judging) helping with a big smile on your face.
Spices like cumin, adobo, and paprika are paired with chicken and steeped in a delicious flavorful rice that is deep in red color and made so delicious with tomatoes, chicken stock, chorizo, lime juice and peas.
The rice in this dish is very similar to Jollof Rice, Savannah Red Rice, or Paella in terms of flavor. Each bite of this dish is filled with so much flavor. And it doesn’t take too long to come together.
The ingredients build and build upon each other making the ultimate chicken supper in this easy Spanish rice and chicken recipe. Here’s what you need:
- Seasonings: Cumin, adobo seasoning, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder are used to create the perfect flavor when making this dish.
- Chicken: I personally prefer using dark meat like chicken thighs or legs because I know that they won’t dry out during that roasting process. They stay incredibly moist and flavorful.
- Butter: Adds a richer flavor to your chicken than cooking it in oil.
- Vegetables: Onion, green and red peppers are cooked in the chorizo until tender to create a deliciously seasoned broth for cooking the chicken and rice.
- Chorizo sausage: Use the type of sausage that comes in a tube and can easily be crumbled into small pieces. This ingredient adds more depth of flavor to this chicken and rice casserole.
- Tomatoes: We will be using a combination of tomato paste and diced tomatoes to make this dish.
- Brown rice: I’m using brown rice in this recipe. It has a much firmer texture and provides more nutrition but you can also use white rice instead and reduce the cooking time.
- Chicken stock: Used for cooking the rice. I personally prefer it over water as it makes the dish more flavorful.
- Lime juice: Adds some acid and brightness to the dish.
- Pigeon peas: Using canned keeps things simple. This is a type of legume that’s traditionally used in this dish.
How To Make Spanish Chicken and Rice
Are you ready to get this dish started? Here’s a look at the main steps but be sure to use the instructions in the recipe card when cooking.
- Pat all sides of the chicken dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Mix together the cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, and adobo seasoning in a bowl. Sprinkle about a third of this mixture on both sides of the chicken. Save the rest for later.
- Cook the chicken in butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until both sides are golden brown. When browned, remove it and set aside.
- Cook the onion, peppers, and chorizo in the pot until the veggies are tender and the sausage is browned. Then stir in the tomato paste.
- Add the rice along with the chicken stock, lime juice, diced tomatoes, pigeon peas, garlic powder, and the remaining spice mix to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered for thirty minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the chicken to the Dutch oven. Place it in the oven and cook for another 40-50 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through and the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is nice and soft.
What to Serve with Chicken and Rice
This Spanish Chicken is not only delicious; it is a hearty meal filled with all the ingredients that make you feel right at home. I can’t imagine a more perfect chicken one-pot meal than this one.
This dish is perfect for weeknight meals or a lazy weekend dinner with the family. It’s also tasty enough to serve up for a family gathering or company.
You can serve this incredible meal with the following:
How to Store
Store the leftover rice and chicken in an airtight container for up to five days. You can also freeze the chicken for up to three months. I hesitate to freeze rice as it can be a bit mushy when thawed.
Reheat the dish in an oven-safe casserole dish in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. You can also reheat a single serving in the microwave.
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Use chicken thighs or legs when making this dish. It cooks up perfectly without drying out.
- Let the dish rest before serving. This locks in the chicken juices and allows the rice to finish cooking.
- Serve with a squeeze of lime and cilantro for a bit of fresh flavor that makes the dish truly sing!
- If you prefer to use white rice, follow the same instructions but you can reduce the oven time.
This dish is similar to arroz con pollo and is made with seasoned chicken cooked with rice and vegetables in a well-flavored broth.
No, if you don’t have one you can also use a deep cast-iron or oven-safe skillet. If those aren’t an option, then transfer the partially cooked rice to a baking dish and then add the chicken.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes
If you want more easy chicken dinners like this, definitely try my Lemon Chicken and Rice Casserole, Chicken and Dumplings, Baked Garlic Chicken Skillet, Slow Cooker Rosemary Chicken, Brown Stew Chicken, and Lemon Roast Chicken and Potatoes.
*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!
Spanish Chicken and Rice
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 8 chicken legs or 6 chicken thighs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil
- 1 ½ cups diced onion, green and red peppers
- ½ tube of loose chorizo sausage in small pieces
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups brown rice
- 3 ½ cups chicken stock
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can
- 15 ounces pigeon peas, rinsed and drained 1 can
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Start by preheating your oven to 380 degrees.
- Add ground cumin, adobo seasoning, chili powder and paprika to a small bowl and whisk together until combined then set aside.
- Pat chicken dry on all sides with a paper towel then season chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Sprinkle about a ⅓ of the seasonings on chicken on both sides and set the rest to the side.
- Add butter with canola oil to Dutch oven over medium high heat. Once it’s melted, brown chicken on both sides until a golden brown color develops then remove chicken from Dutch oven and set aside.
- Next add onion, peppers and chorizo to Dutch oven and cook until they are tender and sausage is nice and browned.
- Add tomato paste and mix in well.
- Next stir in rice along with chicken stock, lime juice, diced tomatoes, pigeon peas, garlic powder and remaining spice mix and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring down to medium low heat and cover lid for 30 minutes.
- Next remove lid and add chicken to the Dutch oven and place in the oven and cook for another 40-50 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through and the rice has absorbed liquid and is nice and soft. Cool for 10 minutes then top with cilantro and serve.
This post was originally published in September 2017. It has been updated with new images and content.