Chicken and Rice with Swiss Chard


Do you have those dishes that you remember (and loved) as a kid, but as an adult you don't make it for whatever reason?

Chicken and rice was one of those for me.  My parents made it pretty regularly in our house, and it was a 1 dish meal that consisted of nestling chicken breasts in a rice mixture, and was all baked together in this creamy sauce.  Our whole family loved it, even those of us who don't usually care for rice.  Now that I am all adult and such, I remember fondly the chicken and rice of my childhood, but know that it's not the healthiest of meals.  It's got ingredients that are more processed than I want to use.  I didn't really think much about it, until the fall of 2011.  Inside the September issue of Everyday Food, I saw a dish that reached off the page and grabbed me.  One-pot Chicken and Rice With Swiss Chard.  It was everything I loved about the old dish- chicken, simplicity, straightforwardness, without the not-so-good-for-you stuff.  It also used swiss chard, which I love.

After two years of having this recipe bookmarked, I have finally gotten around to making it, and as with so many of the Everyday Food recipes that I've tried, it's a winner (winner, chicken dinner).  The chicken and rice actually taste better the next day- bonus!

The one thing I'll warn you about is that the prepping of the vegetables took a long time for me- I'm a slow chopper.  I also had the unfortunate setback that my chicken wasn't fully thawed, so dinner prep took about 2 hours, and we didn't eat until almost 8 pm.  If you're more streamlined, and if your chicken is not frozen, you can count on less than that, but this may be more of a weekend meal for us, or in the future I'll make sure that everything's prepped ahead of time.  I'll post as I made it, but click on the recipe title for the original.

One Pot Chicken and Rice With Swiss Chard
from Everyday Food, Sept 2011 issue

2 pounds chicken thighs (bone in, skin on), patted dry
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 bunch (10 oz) Swiss chard, stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces and leaves torn into 2 inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, diced small
2 medium carrots, diced medium
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus wedges for serving
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 Tb fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried thyme

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high.  Add chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned on both sides, approx. 12 minutes, turning once.  Transfer chicken to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, chard stems, onion, and carrots.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until chard stems and onion are translucent, 4 minutes.  Add chard leaves, lemon zest, thyme, and rice.  Cook 1 minute.  Add broth and bring to a rapid simmer.  Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange chicken, skin side up, on top of rice mixture and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through and liquid is absorbed, about 25-40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit about 5 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.


  • The cooking time varies so greatly because the original recipe called for 25 minutes, but after 25 minutes, my rice was still crunchy and the liquid was absorbed.  I had to add some liquid (making total 3 cups) and let it cook a little longer, maybe 10-15 minutes.  It could just be my stove though.  
  • Even the recipe notes in the magazine suggest that you can use any long grain rice as a sub for the basmati.  Cooking times should be about the same.  

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