Yum: One-Pot Chicken Thighs with Rice, Tomatoes and Greens

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I’ve always preferred legs to breasts – on chickens, of course 😉   Bone-in chicken thighs especially have so much more character (a.k.a. fat) than chicken breasts. And the price! You just can’t beat it, especially when it’s on sale.

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That’s like 50 cents per thigh! Wowza. With the help of some bright, fresh ingredients, these chicken thighs make a meal that’s balanced, satisfying and deeply flavorful – and you only need to dirty one pot! See how after the jump.

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First, get the chicken nice and well-browned. The brown bits stuck to the bottom of your pot are all flava!

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Look at those crispy bronze skins! I couldn’t bear to braise them and have them go all soggy. So I took the skins off and crisped them up in a separate pan for some seriously heavenly chicken cracklings. Try it – you’ll never throw out chickens skins again.

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But anyway, back to the pot – some aromatics and herbs get sauteed in the chicken fat, then the thighs go back in with some white wine for a little braising.

Then just to make it real easy, the rice, tomatoes and greens get thrown in the same pot, the chicken gets nestled back on top and the whole thing cooks until the rice is done. I used mustard greens for their bracing, bitter flavor but you can use any sturdy green like kale or chard.

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And just to give the chicken an extra bright flavor, use the same ingredients (lemon, parsley, oregano) to mix up a vinegary kind of chimichurri sauce to sprinkle on top!

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It looks fancy and tastes comforting and homey. Everything you need, all in one pot 😉

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One-Pot Chicken Thighs with Rice, Tomatoes and Greens

Ingredients:
1 pound skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups basmati or long-grain rice
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups chopped mustard greens (if you prefer a less bitter green, use kale or chard)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
juice and zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped parsley

For the optional “chimichurri”, stir together:
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine or white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken, skin-side down and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned (do not move or flip the chicken prematurely or the skin will stick to the pot). Flip and then brown the other side for 4 minutes more. Remove to a plate and set aside.

    Optional: If you want to make crispy chicken cracklings, remove the skins from the chicken thighs after the initial browning. Cook the skins in a separate non-stick skillet over medium heat about 15-20 minutes or until the fat is rendered and the skin is thin and crisp and well-browned. Transfer the skins to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the excess fat.

  2. If a lower fat dish is desired, discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the dutch oven (leaving all the fat in will make a richer, tastier dish.) Still over medium high heat, add the onion to the dutch oven and cook until translucent, or about 3 minutes. Add the oregano and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

  3. Add the white wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the chicken back in, skin side up. The liquid should come about half way up the chicken thighs. Cover the dutch oven and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs to a separate plate, then add the chicken stock, greens, tomatoes and rice to the pot and stir together. Nestle the chicken thighs on top, skin side up, cover the dutch oven and simmer on low heat for another 20 minutes or until the rice is done. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve chicken topped with chimichurri and chicken cracklin’, if desired, and rice on the side.

 

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