Simple and tasty comfort food – this easy skillet chicken and rice is a family favorite. An easy gluten free and allergy friendly dinner recipe, that’s sure to please kids and adults alike!
Do you ever feel like a short order cook? One child wants chicken tenders for dinner, the other would like mac and cheese, and you and your husband want something a little more adult.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to make just one meal at dinnertime? One meal that would satisfy everyone – kids and adults alike. A comforting meal that would make your family come running just because it smelled so good while it was cooking.
Oh, and by the way, it should be free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts…it needs to be free of the top allergens.
This comforting skillet chicken and rice is just that kind of meal. Now, I can’t guarantee that your whole family will love this meal, but it is simple enough to satisfy even the pickiest of palates, and it has enough flavor to keep the adults interested, too.
Crispy chicken thighs and lightly seasoned rice and peas make a tasty meal that’s perfect for the cooler weather. And it’s affordable, too! No fancy ingredients in this recipe – these are simple, healthy ingredients that are naturally allergy friendly.
- Chicken Thighs – You want to get the bone-in chicken thighs for the most flavor. If you use boneless, you won’t get the crispy skin, and they may dry out during cooking.
- Rice – We used white rice for this recipe. You could also use brown rice if you prefer.
- Peas – I love the pop of color that peas add to this dish. If you hate peas, you can leave them out. You could use green beans or any other veggie you like.
I like to use a cast iron skillet to crisp up the chicken skin. For this recipe, it works really well to use cast iron, because you can brown the chicken and then put the whole skillet in the oven to finish cooking everything.
- If you don’t want to use rice, you could try quinoa, millet, or probably even cauliflower rice!
- If you don’t like peas, try adding green beans, carrots, or even green onions.
Tips for Success
Make sure you heat the oil in the pan first, and let the pan get really hot. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken, and the skin should get nice and crispy. If your pan isn’t hot enough, the skin will just kind of stick to the skillet and it won’t look as pretty and brown and crisp.
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Easy Skillet Chicken and Rice.
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 6 bone in chicken thighs
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup frozen peas
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Prepare the rice according to package directions.
While the rice cooks, start the chicken. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron (or other oven-safe) skillet.
Once the oil is hot, add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown. Flip the thighs over and cook over low heat.
Slice the lemon in half. Set one half aside, and cut the other half into thin slices.
When the rice is done cooking, add it to the skillet, distributing it around the chicken thighs. Pour in the chicken broth and peas. Squeeze the lemon juice over the pan, and lay the lemon slices on the rice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes, then turn the heat up to 450 degrees for the last 5 or so minutes (so the skin gets nice and crispy). Check the temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer – it should be 165 degrees.
To serve, spoon rice onto each plate, and top with a chicken thigh.
You can easily increase this recipe – if you need to double it and a skillet isn’t large enough, simply transfer to a large Pyrex dish after browning the chicken.
Leftovers should stay fresh in the refrigerator for three days.
Now that we have Sunday dinner covered, what about gluten free pancakes for Saturday’s breakfast? ;)
This post was originally published in October 2016. It has been updated.
Thank you so much for this recipe!!! Made it tonight and my two year old asked for seconds, which never happens. It was the best dinner she’s eaten in weeks! And it was dairy free for my husband. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, so I had to adjust the cook time a bit, and we didn’t have lemon, so I sautéed some onion and garlic to add a little flavor. It was simple, creamy and really delicious. Thanks again!!
This is now a staple in my home and my extremely picky two year old even approves! Thank you so much!
Oh my gosh this recipe was just what we needed. We just found out that our 2-year old daughter has egg, milk and peanut allergies and have been desperate to find good recipes. I am so glad that I found you!
So glad you are here, Deanna!
My son has been allergic to dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and bananas since birth and has IBS, too. He has outgrown his egg and soy allergies now that he’s almost an adult. I don’t know what I would have done without chicken and white rice! Even today, it’s his favorite food combination. We use vegan margarine and olive oil for regular cooking and grapeseed oil for frying at high heat. I usually cook white rice in chicken broth, but I won’t need that with this wonderful recipe from Deanna. Love that it uses dark meat chicken and has so few spices since spicy food upsets my son’s stomach. Thank you for the recipe!
Do you think this would work with frozen corn in place of the peas? My son is allergic to peas and is the pickiest of eaters, but I think he would enjoy this dish.
Your recipes are fabulous and have been a life saver for our allergy family. Thank you so much!
Sure, corn is a great substitution!
This is the type of meal I could eat every single night…I’m obsessed with both chicken and rice in all forms and somehow could eat the two together over and over on repeat. Loving this easy, healthful, comforting dish!