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I've been eating a lot of brown rice + chicken breast lately, and they both seem to have the same process for cooking (heat for 25-30 minutes).

Therefore it seems I might be able to get away with putting them both in the same pot. I remember my mother used to do something like this, where we'd get a pot of rice+chicken.

So how does it work? Do I add everything together, or does the rice/chicken need to go in first?

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There are many dishes where chicken and rice are cooked mixed together in the same pot. Look at Arroz con Pollo for example, it's an easy classic and there are loads of recipes. There's also some types of Biryani, Jambalaya, and other traditional recipes from across the world that would work.

Chicken pieces and rice cook in about the same time as you say, if you want to get vegetables in there it's a bit more complicated as you want the vegetables to be cooked, but not overcooked. I've generally made them separately to put put as a side as it's more attractive, however large carrot chunks cook about the same time, and you can put in pureed vegetables or even vegetable juice. One my mother makes uses crushed tomatoes instead of water to cook the rice in.

As for having the chicken mixed in or on top there's no right answer, I like to brown the chicken and lay it skin side up on top of the rice as the rice will cook up around the chicken and the visual effect is good when the pot is put on the table. Visuals aside there's little difference in the method.

  • When I asked which goes first, I meant in terms of cooking time, not in terms of which goes on top. Can I put them both in the pot at the same time? – CaptainCodeman Jul 18 '14 at 13:07
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    Yes you can put them in the same time. I'd suggest you brown the chicken first, or remove the skins before cooking, otherwise you get mushy skin. – GdD Jul 18 '14 at 13:11
  • For vegetables, you can add something acidic to the liquid to slow down their softening. For jambalaya, I add vegetable juice or canned tomatoes before the onions have fully softened, and they'll still have some texture at the end. – Joe Jul 18 '14 at 16:07
  • Pilaf is also a commonly-cooked rice-and-chicken-together dish – ashes999 Jul 19 '14 at 17:46
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I'm no expert, but in the past, I've laid the rice out on the bottom of a roasting dish and placed the chicken and veg (any will do, but a whole ear of garlic works especially well) on top. Season generously and pour stock over the whole lot. Cover and roast.

The only trick is to add enough liquid for the rice - yet not too much because it will turn to rice pudding. Need to factor in the juice from the chicken. Best bet is to check liquid ever so often.

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Funny you should ask that just after I posted this: Crisping chicken skin after braising. Same theory would work with breasts, they would just need to be added to the rice much later.

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I do this often using a rice cooker: you can use the steamer tray above the rice to cook veggies, meat, et cetera that then get mixed in when the rice is done. If you're using a pot, a steamer basket would probably work just fine as well. I like to make foil packets so I can use oils or sauces without dripping onto the rice.

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