Recipes » Main Dishes » Chicken and Rice

Chicken and Rice

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4.85 from 13 votes
This old-fashioned Chicken and Rice with celery and onions is one of the world's most nearly perfect comfort food recipes. Your family will love it!
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Chicken and rice in a blue bowl on a wooden board.

This old-fashioned Chicken and Rice is pure, hearty comfort food. For this simple recipe, chicken, rice, celery, and onions are combined and steamed to perfection all in one pot. It’s a great meal to make on a weeknight or when you need something that really sticks to your ribs!

Chicken and rice in a blue bowl on a wooden board.

There are certain recipes that I make over and over but, somehow, never think of sharing them on the blog. They’re old recipes that I grew up with and have made all my life without ever having a written recipe. I just throw them together, and they always turn out to be delicious.

Chicken and Rice is one of those recipes. I started to make this one day recently, and it suddenly occurred to me that I had never posted this recipe. Heck, I don’t even have a recipe for this. So, I grabbed my camera, a pen, and some paper to make notes and here we are…an honest-to-gosh written recipe, with measurements even (!), for my chicken and rice.

Even though this recipe is high in protein, I’m not going to try to make any sort of claim that this is healthy. Or good for you. Or anything like that. What I can claim is that this is old-fashioned comfort food, pure and simple.

It’s good for cold days, warm days, and in between days. Good for when you have the sniffles or when you feel like celebrating. It’s really, really good for when you’re feeling homesick. It’s just good food.

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  • It’s made with simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store.
  • Made all in one pot so cleanup is easy!
  • It’s high in protein but balanced with carbs from the rice.
  • Simple comfort food that’s easy to work into your dinner rotation.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Butter (one of the main reasons this recipe is so comforting)
  • Onion and celery (aromatic vegetables that impart their flavor throughout the chicken and rice)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken (you can use all white meat, all dark, or a mixture)
  • Chicken stock (the rice absorbs all the stock during the steaming making it flavorful and fluffy)
  • Rice (adds heartiness and texture; my favorite is basmati rice but regular long grain white rice or brown rice both work well in this recipe)
  • Salt and pepper (always present in savory dishes to enhance the flavors)
  • Parsley (optional, but adds a pop of color and fresh flavor)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Chicken and Rice

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Butter melting in a skillet

You’ll start by melting half a stick of butter over medium heat in a deep sided skillet.

COOK’S TIP 
I use my chicken fryer for making this recipe. It’s about 10″ across and at least 3″ deep — the perfect size and shape. You could also use a Dutch oven or something like that. Just make sure it has a snug fitting lid.

Onions and celery cooking in a skillet.

When the butter has melted, add the diced celery and onion. Let it cook slowly, giving it a stir every once in a while, until it has softened but hasn’t started to brown.

Chicken added to skillet with onions and celery.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken has stiffened and started to brown very slightly.

Stock and rice added to skillet with chicken, onions, and celery.

Add the stock and stir in the rice.

Photo collage showing the addition of salt, pepper, parsley, and remaining butter.

Add the salt, pepper, remaining butter, and parsley. Ground black pepper is very important to the flavor of this recipe.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Finished chicken and rice in a skillet being fluffed with a fork.

When you’re ready to serve, use a fork to fluff the rice. Sprinkle a little additional chopped parsley over the top just to make it pretty :-)

I serve this as the main dish. Fresh green beans or peas make an excellent accompaniment.

Chicken and rice in a blue bowl on a wooden board.
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Recipe Tips

  • Cut the chicken into similarly sized pieces so that it will cook evenly.
  • The vegetables should be diced small and in evenly sized pieces.
  • Check the cooking time for the type of rice you use in the recipe. I used basmati and the cooking time is 20 minutes. Brown rice (or other varieties) may require more or less time.
  • Let the pan sit, covered and off the heat, for about 10 minutes at the end of cooking for fluffier rice.

Variations

  • Instead of chicken, substitute beef tips or your favorite ground meat.
  • Add diced carrots in with the onions and celery for a naturally sweet flavor.
  • Substitute brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice.
  • Add your favorite herbs and spices such as thyme or rosemary with the celery and onions for a delicious herbed flavor.
  • Turn it into a chicken and rice casserole — stir in a can of cream of chicken or cream of celery soup and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes uncovered and serve hot.

Storing and Freezing

  • Storing: place cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: Store in an airtight container or freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.

FAQs

Do you have any tips for making the recipe more flavorful?

It’s very important to use a nicely flavored stock. Homemade is always best, but there are some good retail brands available as well. Choose a “stock” instead of a “broth” for best flavor and, to really bump up the taste, add a chicken bouillon cube.

Can I make this in the instant pot?

Yes, you can! Sauté the chicken and veggies right in the instant pot with butter. Add the rice and chicken broth and cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Release the pressure after 10 minutes and fluff the rice with a fork. NOTE: The amount of broth needed depends on the type of grain used.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d love for you to give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or in the comments section further down. You can always stay in touch on social media by following me on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest and Sign Up to Get my Newsletter, too!

Recipe

Chicken and rice in a blue bowl on a wooden board.

Chicken and Rice

This old-fashioned Chicken and Rice with celery and onions is one of the world's most nearly perfect comfort food recipes. Your family will love it!
4.85 from 13 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 389kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 ribs celery diced
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 2 breasts), cut into 1” pieces
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups rice (long grain white, basmati, or brown)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large deep skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter.
  • Add the onion and celery and cook until softened but not browned.
  • Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken has stiffened and starts to brown very slightly.
  • Add the stock, rice, salt, pepper, and parsley. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Notes

Recipe Tips
  • Cut the chicken into similarly sized pieces so that it will cook evenly.
  • The vegetables should be diced small and in evenly sized pieces.
  • Check the cooking time for the type of rice you use in the recipe. I used basmati and the cooking time is 20 minutes. Brown rice (or other varieties) may require more or less time.
  • Let the pan sit, covered and off the heat, for about 10 minutes at the end of cooking for fluffier rice.
Variations
  • Instead of chicken, substitute beef tips or your favorite ground meat.
  • Add diced carrots in with the onions and celery for a naturally sweet flavor.
  • Substitute brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice.
  • Add your favorite herbs and spices such as thyme or rosemary with the celery and onions for a delicious herbed flavor.
  • Turn it into a chicken and rice casserole — stir in a can of cream of chicken or cream of celery soup and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes uncovered and serve hot.
Storing and Freezing
  • Storing: place cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: Store in an airtight container or freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.
FAQs
Do you have any tips for making the recipe more flavorful? It’s very important to use a nicely flavored stock. Homemade is always best, but there are some good retail brands available as well. Choose a “stock” instead of a “broth” for best flavor and, to really bump up the taste, add a chicken bouillon cube.
Can I make this in the instant pot? Yes, you can! Sauté the chicken and veggies right in the instant pot with butter. Add the rice and chicken broth and cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Release the pressure after 10 minutes and fluff the rice with a fork. NOTE: The amount of broth needed depends on the type of grain used.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1102mg | Potassium: 365mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 491IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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20 Comments

  1. I just found your delightful website and I’m going to put it in my bookmarks. I am a 77-year-old woman and I am making your chicken and rice tonight. The ingredients are truly and honestly old-fashioned; believe me I know old fashioned. I hope to see your newsletters in my email box.

  2. 5 stars
    This is by far the best chicken and rice recipe out there and I wouldn’t change a thing! Even my picky eaters love this. Thanks for sharing this Lana.

  3. I made this last night and it was amazing! I did tweak it just a bit. I used brown rice instead of white. I also added 3 cloves of garlic (pressed through a garlic press). And before I put the chicken in the pan to cook I sprinkled it generously with poultry seasoning. I added a bay leaf. I like a lot of seasoning though. I think next time I will add some frozen vegetables (peas and carrots) to make it a complete one dish meal. And I say it is healthy cause it used butter instead of margerine! ;) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  4. OMG this was goood! I did add chopped carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, and garlic and a little teensy bit of cayenne because I like a little spice. This will definitely be a staple for those nights I want something quick, budget friendly, and comforting. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  5. This sounded great for this cold winter day and it was delicious! I doubled this recipe for my hungry crew and they wolfed it down!!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It reminds me of my childhood.

  6. I’ve just found your blog, and I’m so glad I did! Funny, I started browsing your recipe index and was like “this looks just like it could belong to anyone in my family!” I’m a Southern Girl as well this recipe in particular, although I don’t have one anything like it, reminds me of home. My Daddy loved chicken and rice… I like your version because of the boneless-skinless thighs (read, juicy and not greasy!). Thank you for sharing your recipes w/us, I’m subscribed to you feed, so I can’t wait to try more!

    1. Thank you so much for visiting the blog and for subscribing to the feed. I hope you find lots of recipes to enjoy! And – I totally agree about the chicken thighs – juicy and not greasy!

  7. I could have written your first sentences…my girls want those recipes on my blog and I had better get with it!

    This is a long time favorite here too though I might add a bit of garlic but then I add a bit of garlic to most everything!

  8. this just looks so good…I never think to cook this. thanks for the recipe…put it on my pinterest boars..
    Love,
    Mona

    1. I really love that my recipe makes you think of eating with your grandma. That’s the nicest thing anyone had said in a while!

  9. I know what you mean about certain recipes you just automatically throw together and never think to blog about! This one sounds wonderful Lana, I’ll definitely be trying it :) Pinned!

    1. We all have our “stand bys” that we make when we’re either busy or can’t come up with anything else, don’t we? This is definitely one of mine. Hope you like it!

    1. Me too, Shaina. This is definitely one of those go-to’s. It’s dependable, easy, and everyone likes it. That makes it a winner for me :-)

  10. Boy this does look quick and easy. I’ll do away with boiling the chicken and go with this version any day.

    1. It’s so much easier than boiling the chicken first and all that. And even though there’s a lot of butter in it, it’s not greasy like some chicken and rice I’ve had. I can make this and have it on the table in about 40 minutes total.