Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe


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This old-fashioned Southern chicken and rice is some of my favorite comfort food. It’s just like the rice my Grandma used to make, and it’s packed with slow cooked flavor.

Southern Chicken and Rice

This Southern chicken and rice recipe is definitely comfort food for the soul. It’s cooked low and slow, and it tastes like all that time created magic for your tastebuds. It’s perfect food for a cool fall or cold winter day.

This is the kind of food my Grandma used to make for me, and the taste of it brings me straight back to her kitchen when I was a kid. The only difference is that she eyeballed everything when she would make it. I think this recipe is very close to hers, so I really hope you all love it as much as I do!

Southern chicken and rice garnished with parsley in a turquoise Dutch oven.


The magic in this recipe is that time does all the work for you, and you don’t need a long ingredient list to create tons of flavor. The ingredients you’ll need are chicken thighs, olive oil, butter, celery, onion, garlic, dried thyme, dried parsley, long grain white rice, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.

How Do You Make Chicken And Rice?

If you’re wondering how to cook chicken and rice on the stove, it’s honestly so easy to make. It just takes a little bit of patience to really get the best flavor. Start by adding the chicken thighs to the oiled Dutch oven, and season them with salt and pepper. Saute them until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

Next, you’ll saute the celery and onion in butter until the onions are translucent and the celery has softened. Add in the garlic, thyme, and parsley and saute until the spices are aromatic.

Chopped celery and onion in a Dutch oven before and after cooking.

Add the rice and toast it for a few minutes before adding in the broth. Give it all a good stir, and add the chicken back to the pot. Place the lid on the pot, bring it to a boil, them turn it down to a simmer, and simmer until the rice is finished cooking.

Toasted rice before and after adding chicken broth to it to cook.

Once the rice is finished cooking, shred the chicken, fluff the rice, and serve with fresh parsley. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking time, helpful tips, and the printable recipe card, etc.

Chicken and rice before and after shredding the chicken and fluffing the rice.

What Type Of Chicken Should You Use?

The big debate for this recipe is whether you should use bone-in or boneless chicken. Bone-in chicken has more flavor, but it takes longer to cook and is a little bit harder to shred. Since I try to keep the recipes on this site as easy as possible, I opted for boneless skinless chicken thighs. You could swap that for bone-in thighs if you’d like, but you will have to saute them considerably longer.

How Long To Boil Chicken

Boneless skinless chicken thighs and chicken breasts need to boil for about 10 – 15 minutes. The amount of time is based on the size of the piece of meat, but they need to be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165 F as measured on an instant read meat thermometer. Bone-in chicken will take noticeably longer.

Can You Cook Raw Chicken And Rice Together?

Yes! Raw chicken and uncooked rice can be cooked together to make a perfect easy one pot meal. I prefer to at least sear the chicken in the pot first, because the browning adds so much flavor. Once the rice is finished cooking, just be sure to double check that the chicken is fully cooked with an instant read meat thermometer (it should read at least 165 F).

A small dark bowl filled with Southern chicken and rice.

Is Chicken And Rice Healthy?

Yes! This is a delicious and healthy one pot meal that your whole family can enjoy. It has protein from the chicken, carbs from the rice, and it contains some vegetables. It’s also low in fat and low in sugar.

Optional Adaptations

  • You could use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, and you could even saute up some crumbled sausage with the chicken.
  • This recipe is made without canned soup, but you could add in some cream of soup if you want creamy rice.
  • You could also add carrots if you want to bulk up the vegetables.
  • The last way you could change it up is to stir in some freshly shredded cheese after it’s finished cooking to make really tasty cheesy rice.

What Can I Serve With Southern Chicken And Rice?

This is a great main dish, and I normally serve it with some additional vegetables. I love having it smothered with some homemade gravy, and it’s amazing served with a side of collard greens. Some of my other favorites are:

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image of Southern chicken and rice with title text.

Chicken Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire chicken recipe section! Some reader favorites are:

Yield: 6 servings

BEST Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe

The best Southern chicken and rice recipe.

This old-fashioned Southern chicken and rice is some of my favorite comfort food. It’s just like the rice my Grandma used to make, and it’s packed with slow cooked flavor.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 stalks celery (sliced, about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley (diced)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)


  1. Heat a lidded Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add in the chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 - 5  minutes per side, or until golden brown and the internal temperature reads 165 F on an instant read meat thermometer. When the chicken is done, remove from the pot. 
  2. Add the chopped celery into the leftover oil and chicken juice and saute for about 5  minutes.
  3. Add in the butter and onions and saute for another 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Mix in the garlic, thyme, and parsley, and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. 
  4. Stir in the rice, and give the bottom of the pot a good scraping with a wooden spoon.  Let the rice toast for about 3 - 5 minutes, stirring frequently. It’s finished toasting when you can smell the aroma from the rice and it has changed color.
  5. Pour in a little bit of the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, then pour in the remaining chicken broth. Stir to make sure there aren't any pieces of rice stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add salt to taste and stir. Place the cooked chicken over top of the rice, place the lid on the pot, and bring to a boil. Once the rice has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. Around 20 - 25 minutes.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, take out the chicken, and place the lid back on the pot to cover the rice. Let it rest off of the heat for 5 minutes. Pull apart the thighs using forks, creating chunky pieces.  
  7. Mix the chicken through while fluffing the rice, then garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 385Total Fat: 9.2gCarbohydrates: 53.5gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 2gProtein: 20.7g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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The next time you’re looking for an easy, wholesome, and delicious one pot dinner for your family, try making this epic Southern chicken and rice! It’s a five star recipe that everyone loves.

The best Southern chicken and rice recipe.

10 thoughts on “Southern Chicken and Rice Recipe”

    • Hi Elisabeth, I haven’t tested this in the Instant Pot, so I can’t say for sure. If I was going to make an IP version of it, this is what I would do: Cut the chicken thighs into roughly 1 1/2″ pieces, then saute the chicken and vegetables as instructed in the recipe card using the saute mode on the IP. I’d kind of press the chicken and vegetables down, they sprinkle the rice over the chicken and vegetables in an even layer. Then I’d lower the amount of chicken broth down to about 2 1/2 cups (you might have to play with the amount – it should cover the rice), and carefully and slowly pour the broth over the rice (slowly so that you don’t disturb the layers). Then I’d set the pressure release valve to “sealing” and cook it on either “Manual” or “Pressure” (depending on your model of IP) on high pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release, and then finishing the release on quick release. I hope that helps! If you try it, please let me know how it turns out! -Alexa

  1. Very good information. Lucky me I ran across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later.

    • When I tried this, I cooked for them for an extra couple of minutes per side and then let them finish cooking with the rice. Just be sure to check the internal temperature after they’re done cooking to make sure they’re cooked through to 165 F. Hope that helps! -Alexa

  2. Ive made this a few times and the family loves it. It’s a forgiving recipe if you add something or leave it out it’s still yummy. Thanks!

    • Hi Katherine, I haven’t tested this recipe using cream of mushroom soup, so I can’t say for sure how the ingredients should be adjusted. If you try it, please let me know how it goes! -Alexa

  3. This delicious! Our new fave rice dish. We used breasts and we did add some carrots. Made it twice now, love it! Thank you for sharing this recipe.


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