This is a classic Spanish comfort food and a family favorite.
If you asked my family what my signature dish is, this would be it. I make it whenever they come over for dinner!
I most often use chicken thighs, but you can also use a whole cut-up chicken (more authentic) and double the rice recipe. This recipe will give you a stickier rice (versus some recipes where “dry” yellow rice is the result).
Here’s my yellow rice recipe. If you don’t want to make your own rice, use the kind you can buy in the yellow bag. I make my own to avoid the MSG! Everything else is the same.
This comes out best in a dutch (french) oven or other heavy cooking pot with a tight lid. But you can bake it; see the directions below.
Peas are a common addition; add them after the rice is mixed in, before you add the chicken back. Then you’ll have a true one-pot meal!
Chicken & Yellow Rice Arroz Amarillo
Note: Reduce the water called for in the rice recipe by 1/4 to 1/2 cup. The juices in the chicken will make up the difference. Check your pan drippings before adding the water & broth and adjust accordingly.
- 1 whole cut up chicken, or 6-8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin on
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- my arroz amarillo recipe (2 cups uncooked rice), or
- one pound (16oz., 8 servings) prepackaged yellow rice
If making the rice from scratch, add the pinch of saffron to a few tablespoons of near-boiling water. Set aside.
In a large (at least 6qt.) dutch oven (or skillet with a tight lid), saute the garlic and onion over medium-high in oil until soft, about 10 minutes. Empty to a bowl and set aside.
Salt and pepper the chicken. In the same skillet, brown chicken on both sides over medium heat, about 7 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate. Do not drain the pan juices.
Add the water and chicken broth to the pan and bring to a boil.
Crush the saffron strands with the back of a spoon. Add the saffron and water, spice mix, and rice to the boil and stir to combine (or add your bagged rice here).
(Add frozen peas here if desired.)
Boil 1 more minute and add the chicken back. Cover tightly and simmer 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
You can put the finished pot in the oven on warm if not ready to serve immediately.
Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
To bake instead: If you don’t have a heavy covered pot that can go on the stove, saute the garlic and onion in a pan, then remove to a bowl. Season the chicken and brown all over in the same pan. While chicken cooks, combine the rice, seasonings and water/chicken broth (use full amount of water, and maybe a little extra) in an oven-safe baker, then nestle the chicken down under the rice. This recipe will fit in a 3.5qt baker. If your cooking vessel is very deep, you might need to add another 1/2 cup of rice and 1 cup of liquid (and a bit more spice mix, if desired). Cover and bake at 350°F for 1-2 hours (cooking time will depend on your baker, just check it every 30 minutes after it’s been cooking for an hour) or until chicken is falling off the bone.