Scrumptious Rice with Chicken and Veggies

November 12, 2019
Follow this delicious chicken and rice recipe for a complete and healthy meal.

This rice with chicken and veggies dish brings together several foods recommended for a healthy, balanced diet. It’s perfect for any time, and it’s very easy to make.

It’s a very common meal in Spain and Latin America, each family usually customizing it to their own tastes. Plus, it goes well with both meat and vegetable protein.

Rice with chicken and veggies

Chicken, vegetables, and rice are all essential parts of a healthy diet. Chicken is a great source of protein, and a study from the journal Food and Nutrition Research shows that it also has vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.

Vegetables, as most people know, are one of the healthiest foods. a publication in the medical journal Advances in Nutrition reminds us that they are an important source of dietetic fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, protein, and carbohydrates that help prevent illnesses.

The preparation of this dish is very similar to that of Spanish paella, though the ingredients are different. Now, let’s take a look at the ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes (80 g)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion (60 g)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup of rice (240 g)
  • 2 garlic cloves (6 g)
  • 3 chicken breasts or thighs (300 g)
  • 1 cup of peas (150 g)
  • 5 saffron threads (1 g)
  • 1/2 green or red pepper (40 g)
  • 1 cube of chicken broth
Tomatoes in rice with chicken and veggies.

Instructions

Veggie preparation

  • First, heat some oil on medium heat in a fairly wide frying pan.
  • Meanwhile, dice the onion, pepper, and garlic, then add them to the pan.
  • Once slightly softened, add the salt and pepper (to taste) and stir for 5 minutes.
  • The veggies are ready when they’re soft enough to cut with a wooden spoon without much effort.

Add the chicken

  • Now cut the chicken breasts into small cubes or strips and add them to the veggies. Increase the heat, but not to the highest heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the chicken gets some color, but not all the way. If you prefer, you can use chicken thighs instead of breasts, just make sure you get all the meat off the bone.
Chicken breasts.

  • Add the chicken to the vegetables and increase the heat slightly. Keep stirring for another five minutes. You want the chicken to have some color but not be fully cooked.
  • Peel the tomatoes and chop to the size of the other vegetables and add them to the chicken and vegetables. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes.

Add it all together

  • In another pan, boil the water and then add the rice along with the chicken broth cube.
  • Let simmer for a few minutes, but don’t let the rice get too soft. Four or five minutes should be enough.
  • Strain the rice and add it to the chicken and veggies. Stir well.
  • Add the saffron for color and flavor. If you don’t have saffron, you could use food coloring or tumeric, though the flavor won’t be quite the same.
  • Next, add the peas along with the salt and pepper. The broth will be very flavorful at this point, and as the rice cooks it will get absorbed. So don’t be too stingy with the salt.

Finish the dish

  • Keep stirring until the chicken and rice are completely cooked. For more flavor, you can add a bit of the cooking water from the rice and then let it cook until it gets the consistency you like.
  • Remove from heat. Cover with a clean cloth and let it sit for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the rice gets a nice flavor and is al dente.
  • Serve and enjoy!

This recipe should be enough to serve 3-4 people. It’s a tasty, healthy, and traditional dish that your family or friends are sure to enjoy.

 

  • Sun, L., Ranawana, D. V., Leow, M. K. S., & Henry, C. J. (2014). Effect of chicken, fat and vegetable on glycaemia and insulinaemia to a white rice-based meal in healthy adults. European Journal of Nutrition53(8), 1719–1726. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-014-0678-z
  • Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(4):506–516. Published 2012 Jul 1. doi:10.3945/an.112.002154
  • Marangoni F, Corsello G, Cricelli C, et al. Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document. Food Nutr Res. 2015;59:27606. Published 2015 Jun 9. doi:10.3402/fnr.v59.27606
  • Locke, A., Schneiderhan, J., & Zick, S. M. (2018). Diets for health: Goals and guidelines. American Family Physician97(11), 721–728.