This is one of my all-time success stories, and a firm favourite with family and friends. It is a terrific family dinner, with a little bit of forward planning (or not – see NOTES), but I have also served it at dinner parties for friends on many occasions. The combination of tastes is wonderful, and it has that ‘all-in-the-one-pot’ magic as well! Like any decent recipe, it’s evolved a little over the years, but this is the definitive version as of October 2018 – almost 2 years ago – wow!!
Prep time: about 30 minutes, not including marinating
Cooking time: 1 hour
- One large or two small lasagne dishes (big enough to comfortably hold the chicken)
- A large bowl – for marinating
- A measuring jug
- A frying pan
- A sieve
- One chicken supreme or skin-on breast per person.( see NOTES)
- 1 med/large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 1”slices
- 300g mushrooms, wiped and sliced if large, or cut into quarters or halves if small.
- 6-8 sun dried tomatoes, from a jar, drained and cut up
- 20 or so black olives – with the stone in if at all possible. I use Greek style olives (as in the picture below) which come in a jar with no liquid. If you have to use the ready stoned ones in brine, be sure to rinse them before use. (If you don’t like Olives, see NOTES)
- 9oz/250g Basmati rice
- 1 fat red chilli deseeded and chopped finely
- Hot chicken stock, with a glass of white wine and the marinade added to make about 1.5 pints/900ml
Ingredients for the Marinade: Like most marinades the longer you can leave the chicken marinating the better, but I’ve made this on the spur of the moment many times, soaked the chicken while I cut up the veggies, and it still tastes great, so don’t worry too much about this..
- Zest and juice of 2-3 lemons
- 2-3 large, fat cloves of garlic crushed
- 1-2 heaped teaspoons of dried Herbes de Provence
- black pepper, freshly ground
- First make up the marinade, put it into a glass bowl and allow the chicken breasts to sit there, skin-side up, for as long as you can. Cover the bowl with cling film, and put it in the fridge.
- Put the rice into the sieve and wash it thoroughly. I usually rinse it through a couple of times under the tap, then let it sit in clean cold water while I chop the veggies. Give it one more wash, shake well to remove any excess water, then sprinkle it over the vegetables.
- Spread the peppers, chilli, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and olives evenly over the serving dish.
- Sprinkle the washed and drained rice evenly over the vegetables.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, add the remaining marinade to the stock.
- Dry off the skin side of the chicken so that it doesn’t sizzle too much when it hits the heat.
- Heat the pan until it is hot, add a little oil or low-calorie spray, and put in the chicken breasts, skin side down first so that they brown nicely (about 3-4 minutes) then turn them over and do the other side for 2 minutes. You are just searing the chicken, not cooking it, so this should take no more than 5-6 minutes.
- Place the chicken skin side up on top of the rice and vegetables, and push them down to nestle amongst the vegetables and rice
- Including the white wine, and the marinade, make the stock up to 900ml, and pour over the chicken and vegetables.
- Put the dish carefully in the oven, and allow to cook, uncovered at 160° for about 30 minutes, then take the dish out, and push all the chicken portions down into the Stock and vegetables – this will keep it really moist for you.
- Return it to the oven for a further 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the skin is nice and crispy.
- Taste the rice to make sure it is cooked.
- I like to serve this with a really simple green salad, and some warm crusty bread
- A word to all you non-olive-lovers out there: don’t be tempted to leave them out – they make such a difference to the finished dish.
- Bear in mind that if you’re making this dish for a large number, then you’ll probably want to add more veggies and you’ll definitely need more stock – I actually tend to use two dishes if I’m cooking for more than 4 – that way you’re sure that everyone will get a decent portion of everything.
- I’ve started using Chicken Supremes routinely for this recipe because that’s what works the best for me (those are the skin-on chicken breast portions with a bit of bone left in) I’ve discovered that skinless chicken fillets aren’t really suitable for this (they get quite dry with the long cooking, but skin-on Chicken thighs work really well for this recipe – allow 2-3 per person, depending on size).