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KID APPROVED Chicken and Rice family dinner

This is my kids favorite chicken and rice recipe!

I start with a scratch thyme seasoned rice that is light fluffy, and well seasoned. Then top it with a well browned chicken broccolini and even some sautéed mushrooms for the parents!

This is the best chicken and rice! Thyme seasoned rice topped with a chicken crusted with black pepper, sauteed mushrooms and broccolini

This isn’t your mothers chicken and rice.

My kids love chicken and rice – its such a simple dinner and that’s what they love about it. But good ol’ dad can never leave well enough alone.

While I to keep the essence of a simple dish in mind, I wanted to add a little love to it with some nice ingredients.

Let’s start with the rice.

Thyme and chicken flavored rice topped with a chicken crusted with black pepper, sauteed mushrooms and broccolini

I took a little inspiration from a homemade Mexican rice to start.
By browning the rice in a little oil and garlic before adding the liquid, I’ll give an extra layer of flavor, and a light fluffy texture to the rice.

And the best part of Spanish rice is cooking it in chicken broth. And that’s exactly what I did.

Letting this simmer in chicken broth, seasoned in salt and pepper, then add some fresh thyme gives it a subtle, but delicious flavor, that is “plain” enough for my picky eaters, but has enough flavor for the parents to enjoy.

It beats a box of store bought rice. Takes a little more time, but its hands off so you’re letting this simmer while cooking up the chicken.

Thyme and chicken flavored rice topped with a chicken crusted with black pepper, sauteed mushrooms and broccolini

This is a simple, salt pepper and garlic seasoning, I like to use my Makes Beef Better spice blend (what do you know it makes more than beef better..)

Start off with a little oil and butter – maybe a sprig of thyme since you already have it. Then let it brown, that’s where the flavor is coming from.

But feel free to add your own twist to this chicken and rice, I’m keeping this simple for the kids – and it will have sauteed mushrooms for mom and dad so there will be a lot of other flavors to layer on this if you like.

Don’t underestimate the power of a food warmer

You’ve spent 30 minutes cooking up your main and sides, and trying your best to get it all coordinated so that everything gets to the table warm.

But that can get super stressful for me. So I always have an oven set on low (about 140-160F) and keep anything that got done early warm inside.

I also have a buffet style food warmer that comes in handy too since it sets up the family to serve themselves too – one less step you have to worry about.

This is a perfect way to keep the chicken up to temp while you’re sautéing your mushrooms and cooking the broccolini.

This is the best chicken and rice! Thyme seasoned rice topped with a chicken crusted with black pepper, sauteed mushrooms and broccolini

When there’s that night where you don’t know what to cook – have this chicken and rice recipe in your back pocket. And if you’re pressed for time, keep it simple!

Maybe throw your rice in the rice cooker with the chicken broth and thyme. Omit the mushrooms if you’re not feeling it. Just keep it simple and let the ingredients speak for themselves.

Chicken And Rice

Course: Dinner
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 942kcal
Thyme and chicken flavored rice topped with a chicken crusted with black pepper, sauteed mushrooms and broccolini
Print Recipe

Ingredients

FOR THE RICE

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups jasmine rice `
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 2 lbs chicken breast pounded thin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

FOR THE VEGGIES

  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups broccolini or broccoli
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

FOR THE RICE

  • In a large saucepan, heat up oil, add in rice and stir until it starts to brown. Stir in minced garlic and continue to brown for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Pour in chicken broth, and a little salt and pepper and a sprig of thyme. Reduce to a simmer and cover; cook for 20 minutes until rice is thoroughly cooked.
  • If liquid is gone before rice is done, add in another 1/2 cup and cook until done. Fluff with a fork then add in remaining fresh thyme (taken off the sprig)

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • In a large pan, heat up oil and melt butter. Add in garlic and chicken breasts, optionally add in a sprig of thyme (or even rosemary). Cook about 7 minutes per side until internal temperature is reaches 165F. Place on a plate and keep in oven at the lowest temperature (140-170F)

FOR THE VEGGIES

  • In the same pan as the chicken was cooked in, add butter and mushrooms. Sautee until tender, season with salt and pepper – place in a bowl and keep warm in the oven along with the chicken.
  • Rinse the pan and put back on the stove with butter. Once butter is melted, add your broccolini. Cook for about 2 minutes; add a little water to let steam for another minute.
  • Serve rice chicken and veggies separate, or place in a bowl as pictured; enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 942kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 65g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 1100mg | Potassium: 1246mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2653IU | Vitamin C: 114mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 4mg
Derek Campanile
Derek Campanile
I'm an IT professional by day. Home cook for the family by night. Follow my blog for easy to make recipes, how-to's and ideas to gather the family at the dinner table!