One-Pot Saffron Chicken & Rice

A tasty, easy one-pot chicken and rice recipe that’s bursting with flavour. It comes together in less than 45 minutes, making it a great midweek, last minute dinner. If you’ve got the time, marinate the chicken overnight – it’ll help the flavours penetrate through to the bone.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Chicken, Rice and Risotto


For the chicken:
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 2 tsps garlic granules
  • extra-virgin olive oil
For the rice:
  • 650 ml chicken stock
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaped tablespoon double concentrated tomato purée
  • 400 g white basmati rice, rinsed


  1. Pat the chicken thighs dry with clean kitchen towel and place in a large bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil, season generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and toss to coat.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, cumin and garlic granules and toss to coat, ensuring that the chicken is evenly coated. If you have the time, cover, refrigerate and marinate the chicken overnight. If not, it’s on to the next step!
  3. Pour the stock into a saucepan. Add the saffron and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn the heat off and cover.
  4. Heat a splash of olive in large cast iron casserole pan over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down. Cook until the skin is deeply golden brown and the fat has rendered, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 2 mins. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Note: the chicken isn’t cooked through; it’ll finish cooking with the rice.
  5. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until nice and soft and beginning to brown, around 7 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then add the tomato purée and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to darken, around 2 minutes.
  7. Add the rice and stir to combine. Add the saffron-infused stock. Taste and adjust the salt level – you want the cooking liquid to taste as seasoned as you want the finished dish to taste. Stir to combine.
  8. Nestle the chicken thighs into the rice so only the bottom half is submerged.
  9. Bring everything to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer gently until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked through, around 25 minutes.
  10. For crispy skin, remove the chicken thighs and grill separately once the rice is cooked.


Rinse the rice thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clean, then drain well.

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15 days ago

Delicious and so easy to make. One of our go to recipes.

9 days ago
Reply to  Mel

I’m so glad to hear it! 🙂