I have a couple meals that I always keep the ingredients on hand to fit into my weekly meal planning when I’m needing something I know tastes good and is kid friendly. This happens to be one of my tried and true recipes. Because it’s all made in the same pot the flavors meld together creating a delicious – and easy – meal.
Why brown the chicken before baking? It really helps in two different ways. Browning the skin helps lock in and deepen the flavor of the spices you are using in the chicken. Also, it helps to draw out some of the fat which allows us to use less oil when sautéing the onions and toasting the rice.
Should you toast your rice before cooking? Yes! Toasting the rice gives it a delicious nuttier flavor that you would otherwise miss. It also helps the rice absorb the flavor from the pan drippings, onion and garlic. You can skip this step; however, you will be missing the added flavor profile.
Using a Dutch oven to cook this meal makes it truly a one pot easy weeknight dinner. Firstly, it is safe to use on your stovetop to brown the chicken and toast the rice. Secondly, you can easily transfer it right from the stovetop to the oven. And lastly, it provides and even cooking temperature and locks in moisture which helps makes the meat so tender. Once finished its easy enough to scoop your dinner out and serve with your favorite salad!
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- 2 cups brown rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 6-8 cloves garlic
- 2 lemon wedges
- 2 T olive oil
- Spices to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season poultry with preferred spices (I use a mix of salt, pepper and my favorite poultry seasoning mix).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Brown both sides of each chicken leg lightly and set aside.
- Add garlic and onion to Dutch oven and sauté until onions start to turn clear.
- Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven and then stir in rice and toast for three minutes.
- Add chicken broth to Dutch oven and then carefully lay the chicken leg quarters on top.
- Squeeze lemon wedges over chicken and then add squeezed lemons to the Dutch oven.
- Cover Dutch oven and place in the oven.
- Bake for an hour and a half, removing the Dutch oven lid 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time to allow the chicken to crisp.
- Remove Dutch oven from the oven and serve immediately.
This recipe yields four large sized servings for adults with leftovers or about six servings for children.