Skillet Spanish Chicken and Rice

This post is sponsored by Perdue Farms. The opinions shared are my own.

Growing up in Spain, one simple and delicious dish we ate often was Spanish Chicken & Rice or, Arroz con Pollo. It’s a family-friendly dish made with rice, chicken, and vegetables for a simple yet satisfying meal that comes together in one skillet so cleanup is a breeze.

image: full skillet of rice, peas, peppers and six cooked chicken breasts with crispy skins.

The flavors of this recipe are as close to what I remember from my childhood and bring back happy memories of my grandfather and his back-yard chickens and my grandmother cooking Valencia rice with aromatic spices in the kitchen. You could taste the quality of the ingredients in every bite.

Here, in the US, I can replicate my grandparent’s “farmer to table” quality by purchasing Perdue Farms’ Chicken. Since 1920, they’ve been family-owned and continue to deliver the highest quality products to families like yours and mine.

A few months ago, I visited the original Perdue Family home in Salisbury, Maryland. During my visit, I met the Perdue family and learned about their farming, environmental, and animal care practices.

image: Laura standing in front of farmhouse at Perdue Farms

I was impressed with Perdue’s commitment to their animal’s welfare, 100% vegetarian-fed diets without any animal by-products, and no antibiotics ever -something that’s not standard practice for other companies.

Going the extra mile with their chickens made me feel like I was back in my childhood, knowing that the food I ate was the highest quality which made a difference in the way the food tastes.

In this simple recipe for Spanish chicken and rice, I used Perdue’s Havestland Organic Chicken where the thighs are cooked over saffron rice; yielding a fragrant, delicious, one skillet meal.

image: skillet full of Spanish chicken and rice next to package of Perdue organic chicken thighs

To deliver the highest quality, Perdue Farms freezes and vacuum packs their items at the peak of freshness -like you see in the package above. Best of all, I can get every cut of chicken (and other meats) delivered to my door! Click here to shop.

What Goes on Spanish chicken?

To bring this dish up a notch, I seasoned the rice with saffron. While the original recipe doesn’t include saffron, I can’t help it! I’m from Spain and paella is a way of life! But that’s another recipe for another day. 

image: Plate topped with rice, vegetables and Spanish Chicken

For anyone who is not familiar with saffron, it’s a threadlike spice harvested from flowers. It has a sweet, floral scent and gives a beautiful yellow hue when cooked with rice, couscous, and grains. It’s also one of the most widely used spices in the Mediterranean and Middle East. 

For this recipe, I can’t think of a better cut than Perdue Harvestland Organic Chicken Thighs. Searing the chicken in the same pot leaves small tidbits of flavor that will add additional seasoning to this dish. And the bone-in makes each chicken piece tender and juicy.

Image: Skillet full of chicken & rice next to plate of the same and package of chicken thighs from Perdue farms.

While the grocery stores near me carry Perdue chicken, they don’t carry the entire line so for me, shopping online gives me access to the entire line of high quality chicken (and other meats) they offer and it’s modern-day version of farm-to-table when it comes to chicken.

How long does it take to cook the chicken?

The key to getting a golden sear on the chicken is to brown them skin-side down a minute or 2 before cooking the rice. It makes the skin crisp and keeps the meat tender and moist as it cooks with the rice. 

Some recipes call for bone-in thighs with the skin removed, but I prefer to keep the skin-on, it helps to lock in moisture and keep the meat moist. 

image: Closeup of plate topped with rice, vegetables and Spanish Chicken

Since we’re cooking the rice along with the chicken, low and slow is best. This will guarantee a perfect texture for the rice without drying out the chicken.

How to Make Spanish Chicken & Rice Step-by-Step

To make this recipe, you’ll want to use a large skillet with a lid. While the ingredient list is simple, if you don’t have saffron, you can order it off Amazon, or if you’re in a pinch, use smoked paprika instead. 

image: ingredients for Spanish Chicken laid out on a white countertop

Brown the Chicken
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs skin down. Brown for 2 minutes before flipping and browning another 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside onto a plate. 

Image: Process shots making Spanish chicken - chicken thighs browned in a skillet

Sauté the Veg
Heat additional olive oil in the skillet and add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the saffron, salt, and bay leaf, give it stir and sauté for another 3 minutes. 

image: step two cooking Spanish chicken saute vegetables in skillet

Add the rice
By now, your kitchen should smell incredible. Take in a few deep breaths and add the rice to the veggies. Toast for 1 minute, to give it more flavor and pour in the chicken broth, stir to combine. 

image: step three cooking Spanish chicken adding rice to skillet

Add the thighs
Place the browned thighs over the rice and bring to a simmer. 

image: step four cooking Spanish add chicken thighs to skillet with rice and vegetables

Put a lid on it
Cover the skillet with the lid and cook for 30 minutes. In the final 5 minutes, remove the lid and top the mixture with the peas. Cover with lid and finish cooking. 

Check for Doneness
Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 175F and the rice is tender, remove the skillet from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes or so. 

Eat up! 
All that’s left is to grab a plate, fork, and serve yourself a generous portion of arroz con pollo. 

image: two chicken thighs on a plate with rice and vegetables

Why This Recipe is the BEST! 

While it tastes expert status, this is an easy weeknight meal made with simple ingredients.

If you wanted to make this low-carb, you could swap the rice for cauliflower rice, this would drastically cut down on the cooking time, but you would get an EPIC meal that’s Whole 30 approved and keto-friendly. 

image: full skillet of rice, peas, peppers and six cooked chicken breasts with crispy skins.

For more details on how you can get organic, free-range chicken shipped to your front door, head over to Perdue Farm’s website where for a limited time you can enjoy 15% off your purchase.

Spanish Chicken and Rice

A delicious and simple one-skillet recipe made with chicken thighs, rice, veggies, and saffron.

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 46 Perdue Farms bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of saffron threads or 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf, optional
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside onto a plate.

  2. In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, until softened, then season with saffron, or paprika, salt, and bay leaf. Continue to sauté until golden brown and softened, about 3 minutes.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the rice. Cook for an additional minute while stirring, then add the chicken broth, stir, and top the mixture with the chicken thighs. Bring to a simmer and cover with lid, cook for 30 minutes.

  4. In the final 5 minutes of cooking, top the rice mixture with frozen peas and cover with lid. Once the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 175F and the rice is tender, remove the pan from heat.

  5. Serve chicken thighs over rice.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh and 1 1/2 cup rice
  • Calories: 568
  • Sugar: 5.2g
  • Sodium: 935.2mg
  • Fat: 30.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 48g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Protein: 25.2g
  • Cholesterol: 113.9mg

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