Mediterranean Chicken Pilaf (1)

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

INGREDIENTS: for 4-6 people                                                                           chicken pilaf 3

  • 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) chicken pilaf 4
  • 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

Ready to add the stock..

  • 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).

Mediterranean Chicken Pilaf (2)




I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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