One-Pot Chicken, Rice and Sweet Potatoes
Much like I aim to please my clients in my personal chef and catering business, as a recipe developer I aim to please my readers and home-cooks. This means considering not only the final dish, but what it takes to get there. Details like “how much time does this recipe take?” and “how many dishes will I have to wash when I’m done?” are a few of the most important factors, I think. While I myself do not have kids, after years of recipe development for all sorts of home-cooks, I am all too aware that neither busy families nor busy singles really want to spend too much time in the kitchen after a full day. Do I hear some “Amens!” out there?
All of these factors, if I do say so, are why this recipe gets five stars in my book!
First of all, the flow of this recipe is extremely relaxing. Rather than having to do a bunch of prep work, you can get cooking immediately by searing the chicken thighs over medium-high heat. Then, as these brown, you can slice the leeks, dice the sweet potato, mince garlic and chop parsley. Any time you can work efficiently in the kitchen is a good time!
After you sear the chicken, you’ll use the same pot to finish the dish and eventually, everything will go right back in and cook all together. One of the other great attributes of this meal! Which also means that the only other items you may get dirty are a cutting board, knife, peeler and a few measuring cups or spoons, which I consider to be fairly easy clean up. Of the total 30 minutes cook time, about 15 of those are passive, making the perfect opportunity to clean said tools and even wipe down the counter. Once dinner is done, all you have left to do is stash some dirty plates in the dishwasher. How civilized does that sound?
Finally, my other favorite thing about this meal is that I happen to find it extremely satisfying. With the rice, chicken and sweet potatoes all braised together you don’t have to worry about an additional side dish. Although a crusty piece of garlic bread would pair pretty deliciously, if you feel so compelled!
Truth be told, I’ve been making the chicken and rice for years, but adding the sweet potato gives another nutritional boost that I really appreciate. Not only because I love to incorporate unexpected veggies in my recipes, as I shared in this post for my Vegan “Creamy” Potato Soup, but also because I love to honor the season. Sweet potatoes turn this recipe into a perfectly fall-flavored meal, making it downright craveable! I hope this recipe becomes part of your rotation, the same as it has been part of mine.
One-Pot Chicken, Rice and Sweet Potatoes
A classic, one-pot chicken and rice dish gets a fall-flavor upgrade with the addition of sweet potatoes, making a deliciously perfect quick and easy weeknight meal.
- Prep Time: 0 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Chicken
- 1 1/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1+1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
- 12 oz sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cup water
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- Set a large, heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and warm. While oil heats, pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Carefully set the chicken thighs in the pot. Oil should sizzle aggressively when you add the chicken. If not, wait another minute or two. This ensures a nice sear. Arrange the thighs in a single layer so each piece of chicken is in full contact with the surface of the pot. Sear until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then flip and sear the second side another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- While the chicken sears, slice the leeks and give them a quick bath in a bowl of cold water. As they soak, peel and dice the sweet potato, mince the garlic and chop the parsley. Lift the leeks out of the water and dry with some paper towel.
- Set the pot used to sear the chicken back over medium-low heat. Add a little more olive oil to make sure you have a good coating on the bottom, then add the leeks. Sweat the leeks, or soften, stirring often, trying not to brown them. After about two minutes, leeks should be fragrant and tender.
- Stir the garlic, dried oregano and rice into the leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the apple cider vinegar and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Pour in the chicken stock and water, increase heat slightly and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the sweet potatoes and seared chicken thighs. Snuggle everything together, making sure the liquid comes just high enough to cover the chicken, rice and sweet potatoes. Lower heat to a simmer and set a lid on top, slightly ajar.
- Cook until rice and sweet potatoes are tender, checking under the lid every so often to make sure the liquid isn’t boiling dry. If necessary, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of stock or water.
- After about 12-15 minutes check for doneness. Potatoes should pierce easily with a fork, chicken should shred apart easily with two forks and rice should be tender to the bite. If ready, use the two forks to continue shredding all the chicken, then stir in the parsley and finish with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop and serve!