One-pan Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice is impressive enough for Sunday dinner—especially presented right in the pan. Delicious dinner & easy cleanup for the win!
One-pan dinners are a Godsend when you don’t feel like messing up a bunch of pots and pans. Better yet, the meat cooks right on top of the rice, infusing it with delicious, meaty juices while it bakes. (Check out Mastering Easy One-Pot Meal Recipes, a how-to article with even more ideas!)
One-pan Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice is a perfect Sunday dinner—it even makes an easy holiday meal for a small group.
One-Pan Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice: the meat
I like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this dish. The flavor is so much better than what you can coax out of the boneless, skinless variety. From a frugality perspective, boneless-skinless things tend to cost a lot more because the most difficult parts of the prep (deboning and skinning) have been done for you.
Yes, skin-on meat means more fat. I try to cut as much fat off the thighs as possible, but I can’t get it all. Some of the remaining fat renders out during the browning step: I wipe that out of the pan. Still, I usually compromise by only eating a bit of the [FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS!] skin and putting the rest off to the side.
(I discuss my strategies for staying in shape elsewhere on this site—because we all know that I like to eat, and I don’t make many sacrifices on flavor!)
The flavor profile of One-Pan Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice
This dish has a wonderful, citrusy flavor from Meyer lemons. The juice of these babies has more sweetness than your typical lemon, while the zest has a more complex flavor that is almost herb-y. (You can substitute regular lemon, but you may want to cut back on the zest slightly.) The capers provide a perfect briny-tangy foil to the citrus notes.
The dinner also packs big, savory flavors: first, from a nice, deep brown on the chicken. During this step, you’ll get little browned bits in the bottom of your pan (called fond), which you will deglaze later with some white wine. Shallots get a brief sauté, and then the rice is sautéed to bring out its rich, nutty flavor. The final addition of herbs, marinade, and chicken broth really knocks the savory aspect of this dish out of the park.
One-Pan Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice is a truly impressive dish to present at the table: I serve it right in the pan.
For side-dishes, simple steamed green beans (shown in the pic) are wonderful, as are Green Beans with Bacon and Onions. Or opt for a salad like Arugula-Shaved-Fennel Salad or Meal-Prep House Salad & Homemade Thousand Island Dressing.
Winner winner, chicken dinner! I hope that your family lights up at the sight of this dish like mine does.
One-Pan Meyer Lemon Chicken and Rice
FOR THE MARINADE
- 1 Meyer lemon - juiced and zested (reserve zest for
- Chicken And Rice)
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and smashed
- Medium pinch of salt
- dash of black pepper
FOR THE CHICKEN AND RICE
- 4 tbsp olive oil - divided
- 6 bone-in - skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 2 medium shallots - minced
- 1 tbsp capers - rinsed and minced
- zest from the Meyer lemon in the marinade step
- 1 Meyer lemon - sliced into thin rings
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 tbsp dried Herbs de Provence or Italian herbs
- 2 ¼ cups chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley - minced, for garnish
- Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a zip-top bag. Trim as much fat as practical from the chicken thighs and add to the bag. Allow to marinate from 1 hour to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Remove garlic and discard; reserve the remainder of the marinade.
- In a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven, warm 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook the other side until golden-brown, about 5 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium-low; remove chicken to a plate and reserve.
- Wipe excess fat from the pan, then add the remaining olive oil. Add the shallots and saute 1 minute. Add the rice, lemon zest, capers, herbs, and a generous pinch of salt; saute until rice is translucent and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the wine and stir until absorbed, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the marinade and broth; bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 30 seconds. Arrange the chicken on top of the rice, skin side up. (The dish will be quite soupy at this point and the chicken will be partially submerged. No worries! The rice will absorb it all!) Pour any accumulated juices over the top. Arrange lemon slices on top of the chicken and rice.
- Lid the skillet and place in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and bake an additional 10 minutes (45 in total), or as necessary until the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F), liquid is absorbed, and the rice is tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley. Enjoy!