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chicken and riceHarry Weir

One pot chicken and rice

An easy, no-fuss dish by Hugo Arnold




  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 generous pinch saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black onion seeds
  • Olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts or 4 chicken legs
  • 150ml yoghurt
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 dessertspoon freshly chopped chives




  1. Wash the rice in plenty of water, place in a bowl covered with water and set aside. This helps to reduce the cooking time later.
  2. Lightly toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat. Combine with the saffron and paprika and pound to break up the cumin seeds. After a few minutes add the garlic and onion and continue pounding to produce a rough paste. Stir in the mustard and onion seeds and four tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Toss this mixture with the chicken breasts or legs for two minutes so they are well coated. If you have time, do this in advance and allow to marinate for an hour or overnight, but don’t worry if not.
  4. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a deep frying pan. Season the chicken and place, skin side down, in the pan and sauté for five minutes. As the skin colours, turn over. Add the rice and enough boiling water to almost cover the chicken and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken and rice are cooked. If the rice needs longer cooking remove the chicken and keep warm. You may need to add a little more boiling water.
  5. Combine the yoghurt, mint and chives and serve with the chicken and rice

Recipe creditHugo Arnold

Photography credit: Harry Weir


Rabbit and guinea fowl also work well in this dish.