Middle Eastern Skillet Chicken Rice – One Pan Dinner

Recipe Middle Eastern Skillet Chicken Rice One Pan Dinner01

This Middle Eastern Chicken Skillet is the ultimate, easy weeknight dinner that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Seared golden brown chicken thighs, caramelised bacon bits, aromatic herbs and plenty of Middle Eastern spices make for a delicious meal that comes together in one pan, topped with an array of finishing accompaniments to please everyone’s tastebuds.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Option
Serves 4

Chicken Spice Rub

  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced


  • 4 pcs large chicken thigh, skin & bone on (approx 800g to 1kg)
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 red shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup dried sultanas
  • 3 cups water

Finishing accompaniments:

  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Continental parsley, chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced grilled Halloumi
  • Natural Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat a large cast iron skillet or a oven compatible heavy base pan over medium high heat.
  2. Combine the Spice Rub and chicken pieces in a bowl.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of EVOO to the now heated skillet. Add red shallot and fry for a minute, then the garlic. Fry till fragrant. Add bacon bits and fry till fat is rendered.
  4. Place chicken skin side down onto pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes each side or till skin is lightly charred. Remove chicken from pan. Set aside.
  5. Turn heat down to medium and add chopped capsicum and tomato and fry till softened. Add rice and sultanas. Fry till fat is absorbed.
  6. Add half the water and let simmer till absorbed. Pour in remaining water.
  7. Place chicken skin side up over rice. Bring pan back to a gentle boil.
  8. Cover pan with a lid or foil. Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove cover and cook for further 10 minutes or until rice is done.

Serve hot, topped with your choice of finishing accompaniments.

Happy cooking!
Chef Nelly