One Pot Chicken & Rice Bowls with Peanut Sauce

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Comforting Chicken & Rice with Peanut Sauce

Anytime I see a “one pot” or “one sheet pan” main dish recipe, I am enticed and intrigued.  The original recipe from Bon Appetit piqued my interest – it is hearty, filling, easy and filled with ingredients I love in the fall/winter.

This recipe makes a very large amount of rice, so I saved the leftover rice to use for a stir fry dish.  You will also have lots of extra peanut sauce, but that will keep for a month or so and it is so good as a dip, for chicken kebabs, to drizzle on grains or veggies, etc. I did the garlic and ginger chopping by hand just because I didn’t want to do extra cleanup!

I doctored up my original peanut sauce recipe to make this less sweet and a little more spicy, which I like.  

One Pot Chicken & Rice Bowls with Peanut Sauce

4 servings



Chicken & Rice Ingredients
  • 6 small skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)
  • ¾ tsp. Sea salt, plus more
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped or ½ cup of diced red onion
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 cups high-quality basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Peanut Sauce Ingredients
  • ½  cup creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha (You can add more at the end if you wish)
  • 1½ tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili ½sauce (Heinz is fine)
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • About ¼ cup warm water
Salad/Topping Ingredients 
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch x ½ inch batons
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges for serving
Chicken & Rice Instructions

Pat the chicken thighs dry on both sides. Trim off any extra fat that hangs down from the edges of the thighs.  Season the skin side with salt and pat it into the skin.  Arrange, skin side down, in a cold, dry medium Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Cook, undisturbed, until the skin is golden brown and crisp and easily releases from the pot, 8–10 minutes. Slide thighs around to different spots (this will ensure even browning) and continue to cook until deeply browned, 3–5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let the pot cool for about two minutes. Save the drippings to add to the pot when you put the chicken back in.  

Set pot over medium-low heat; add shallots, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant but not browned, about two minutes. Stir in rice and star anise and cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute. Stir in soy sauce, ¾ tsp. salt, and three cups of water. Nestle chicken back into rice mixture in pot, arranging skin side up. Increase heat to medium and bring liquid to a simmer. Immediately cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let chicken and rice sit for ten minutes.

Peanut Sauce Instructions

This can be made three days ahead of time – just cover and chill.

While the chicken and rice are cooking, make the sauce. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together until smooth and pourable. You can add more lime juice if the sauce still looks too thick (it should be the consistency of something you can drizzle over the rice and chicken).  

To Serve

When the rice and chicken have been cooked for 25 minutes and rested for 10 minutes, remove the lid from the pot and fluff rice with a fork. Find and discard the star anise. 

Serve the chicken and on top of the rice along with the cucumber and cilantro. Have a wedge of lime for each serving bowl. Drizzle with a good amount of peanut sauce and sprinkle each bowl with about one teaspoon of sesame seeds.  Have extra peanut sauce for guests to add if needed.  

Cook’s note:  I made this to take to my daughter’s family of five – they are huge eaters, and so I bought five pounds of chicken thighs.  I made the recipe as written using five thighs, and I seasoned and roasted the other five thighs in the oven at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.   There is enough extra rice in the recipe as written for the additional thighs.  Easy peasy lime squeezy!

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