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Fiery Chicken Thighs with Persian Rice

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 1 hr
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup rice and 1 chicken thigh)
Pay close attention to the rice as it cooks over medium-low heat--when you hear it begin to crackle, turn the heat down to low. Continue to cook until the bottom side of the rice develops a golden crust. Serve with 1 pound fresh green beans sautéed in 1 tablespoon butter. Toss with 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds and fresh parsley. Although the ­buttery rice cuts through the heat of the chicken, use less chile paste if you are not a fan of spicy foods.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 439
  • fat 23.9 g
  • satfat 6.5 g
  • monofat 10.6 g
  • polyfat 4.8 g
  • protein 21.1 g
  • carbohydrate 33.7 g
  • fiber 1.4 g
  • cholesterol 71 mg
  • iron 2.8 mg
  • sodium 547 mg
  • calcium 56 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring 5 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add rice; boil 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse rice; drain.

  2. Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon cumin, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and turmeric; cook 1 minute. Combine rice, onion mixture, and yogurt in a bowl.

  3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add butter and 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl until butter melts. Add rice mixture to pan, lightly packing rice down. Reduce heat to medium-low. Wrap a clean, dry dish towel around the lid, tying it at the handle; place prepared lid on pan. Cook rice, covered, over medium-low heat 10 minutes (do not stir or uncover). Reduce temperature to low; cook an additional 20 minutes or until rice is tender on top and a golden crust forms on bottom.

  4. Loosen the rice crust with a rubber spatula around the edges. Place a plate over the top of pan, and invert the rice onto plate, browned side up.

  5. While rice cooks, preheat broiler to high.

  6. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, sambal oelek, garlic, and coriander in a small bowl, stirring well. Scrape spice paste into a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Toss to coat. Let stand 20 minutes. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  7. Place chicken, skin-side up, on a foil-lined broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 8 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; broil an additional 4 minutes or until done. Serve with rice.