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Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe

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This Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe is a simple one pot meal, combining marinated chicken thighs with brown rice and plenty of veggies. Adding a little spice kick adds incredible flavor but can be adjusted to your preference.

We love our Tex-Mex, including some tasty Tinga Tostadas, Healthy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, and the best Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers.

A bowl of chicken and rice with tomatoes and beans.

Southern Chicken and Rice

Spicy food is my love language. If you’re not using a tissue between bites, then you might just be doing it wrong. JUST KIDDING!

While I DO enjoy spicy foods, most of my recipes can easily be tailored to your taste buds. For this one, skip the seeds of the jalapeño, and use regular diced tomatoes instead of the fire-roasted version.

However, if you want a little EXTRA kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes and grab a box of tissues. 😀

Chicken Recipes are always a hit for the whole family. I love making our Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken if I have extra time to roast a whole chicken but I also love taking a shortcut and use a rotisserie chicken in our Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.

If you are a more of a creamy chicken fan, try our Creamy Jalapeño Chicken. Ultimate comfort food and even better the next day.

Why we LOVE this recipe:

  • ONE POT – We love one pot meals and this simple recipe does NOT disappoint! 
  • FULL OF FLAVOR – The seasonings really bring out the flavors in this dish, and the chicken turns out tender every time.
  • MAKES GREAT QUESADILLAS – I love making quesadillas out of this recipe. Spread the mixture on half of a tortilla, add cheese, fold over, and fry it up in a pan along with a little bit of oil. So good!
Side view of a bowl of chicken and rice, Southern style.

What You’ll Need:

I usually have my pantry and refrigerator stocked for this southern-style chicken. Simple ingredients for a weeknight meal!

  • Chicken – Use chicken thighs and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Marinade – A quick combo of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Veggies – Onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic.
  • Rice – You’ll need a little more than a cup of brown rice – but white rice works too.
  • Liquids – Chicken broth (we use lower-sodium) and fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
  • Add-Ins – Some black beans and frozen corn get added in the end.
The ingredients for the Southern Chicken and Rice.

How to make Southern Chicken and Rice:

Step 1
Prep chicken. Use a sharp knife to slice the raw chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces or thin strips. Place in a plastic bag or an airtight container.

Step 2
Marinate chicken. To the chicken, add the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Use your hands to massage the bag of chicken. Set aside for 20 minutes or so.

Step 3
Cook chicken. Heat a stock pot to medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken pieces (along with the marinade). Sear and cook for 9-10 minutes, or until browned and almost (but not completely) fully cooked. Remove to a separate plate.

Step 4
Sauté veggies. Use the same pot and add the diced onions, bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring frequently. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and stir for another 30 seconds.

Step 5
Add uncooked rice, chicken, and liquids. Then add the rice and stir for a minute. Add back the chicken, the chicken broth, and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer letting the mixture cook until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through completely. Cook time will vary.

If using a longer grain rice, you should wait to add the chicken to close to when the rice is done.

Step 6
Add beans and corn. Finally, towards the end of the simmer, add the black beans and frozen corn – and continue to cook until everything is hot.

Step 7
Serve. For best results, serve Southern Chicken and Rice with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese and some avocado slices.

A stock pot of Southern chicken and rice with cihopped cilantro.

Recipe Tips:

  • Prep ahead by marinating the chicken and chopping the veggies. It’s a great way to get a meal on the table after a long day.
  • Using chicken thighs over chicken breasts is a smart decision because they don’t dry out nearly as easy.
  • You can adjust the veggies as you wish. Use extra jalapeño for even more kick, different kinds of peppers, skip the garlic and use dry seasoning instead (like cayenne pepper for kick).
  • Make sure you cook the chicken almost all of the way in the first part of the cooking process. Then it gets finished later on as you simmer the rice.
  • Feel free to use a different kind of bean like pinto or cannellini.
Two bowls of chicken and rice, Southern style.

What to Serve with this Recipe:

We love the leftovers. In fact, I recommend making a double batch, especially if you’re feeding a family. You can add leftovers to meal prep containers for lunches or use it in quesadillas for another weeknight dinner.

A bowl of chicken thighs and rice, with avocado slices.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A black bowl of the Southern chicken and rice with cheese.

Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe

This Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe is a simple one pot meal, combining marinated chicken thighs with long-grain rice and plenty of veggies. Adding a little spice kick adds incredible flavor but can be adjusted to your preference.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 large servings
Calories: 534kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste

For the rice:

  • 1 small onion – diced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper – diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno – diced (with or without seeds)
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1 ¼ cups brown rice – rice that takes about 10 minutes to cook
  • 1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 15 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz. black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Instructions

  • Prep chicken. Use a sharp knife to slice the raw chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces or thin strips. Place in a plastic bag or an airtight container.
  • Marinate chicken. To the chicken, add the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Use your hands to massage the bag of chicken. Set aside for 20 minutes or so.
  • Cook chicken. Heat a stock pot to medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken thighs (along with the marinade). Sear and cook for 9-10 minutes, or until browned and almost (but not completely) fully cooked. Remove to a separate plate.
  • Sauté veggies. Use the same pot and add the diced onions, bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring frequently. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and stir for another 30 seconds.
  • Add uncooked rice, chicken, and liquids. Then add the rice and stir for a minute. Add back the chicken, the chicken broth, and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer letting the mixture cook until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through completely. Cook time will vary.
    If using a longer grain rice, you should wait to add the chicken to close to when the rice is done.
  • Add beans and corn. Finally, towards the end of the simmer, add the black beans and frozen corn – and continue to cook until everything is hot.
  • Serve. Serve Southern Chicken and Rice with a sprinkle of shredded Mexican cheese and some avocado slices.

Notes

Using chicken thighs over chicken breasts is a smart decision because they don’t dry out nearly as easy.
We love the leftovers. In fact, I recommend making a double batch, especially if you’re feeding a family. You can add leftovers to meal prep containers for lunches or use it in quesadillas for another weeknight dinner.

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 654IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

3 Comments

  1. I am always looking for a way to use chicken and being a Tex-Mex girl this is exactly the kind of recipe I gravitate to. It was very easy, with mostly ingredients I had in the house. It’s also delicious and all made in one pot, perfect for any night of the week. I also love leftovers so am looking for a few more nights of eating!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks so much, Shari!

  2. Awesome recipe with exceptional flavor!

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