One pan meals bring me joy. And there's even more joy when they are absolutely bursting with flavor and can be on the table in less than an hour. That's exactly where this One Pan Lemon Florentine Chicken & Rice comes in. Beyond being a fantastic meal that leaves you with little cleanup, it's also one of those dishes that really shines when warmed for leftovers a day or two later, so feel free to make a double batch to plan for that.
If you aren't wanting to use wine, feel free to use additional chicken broth or, if you want yours tangier, lemon juice. If you want this dish to be creamier, you can stick to two cups of chicken broth and add a quarter cup of heavy cream. If you don't have shallots, finely minced onion will also do. And if you want to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs, go for it. You might not need to cook them as long since they can dry out much more easily than thighs.
A nice salad or steamed seasonal vegetables are a lovely accompaniment to this simple dish. Add a glass of chilled white wine and you are ready to sit down and enjoy a delicious, elegant meal that didn't take all day or have you cleaning up a bunch after it's done. Enjoy!
- 1 Meyer lemon, juiced and zested (you will use these separately)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Dash of black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup long-grain brown rice
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon dried Herbs de Provence or Italian herbs
- 2 ¼ cups chicken broth
- 1 Meyer lemon, sliced into thin rings
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
Combine the first four ingredients (Meyer lemon juice (NOT the zest - save for later) through black pepper) for the marinade in a zip-top bag. Trim as much fat as practical from the chicken thighs and add to the bag. Allow the chicken to marinate from 1 hour to overnight.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Remove the garlic and discard; reserve the remainder of the marinade for later.
In a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook the other side until golden-brown, about 5 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium-low; remove chicken to a plate and reserve.
Wipe the excess fat from the pan, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté for one minute. Add the rice, lemon zest, herbs, and a generous pinch of salt; sauté until the rice is translucent and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the white wine and stir until absorbed, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the reserved marinade and broth; bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes. Arrange the chicken on top of the rice. Pour any accumulated juices over the top. Arrange lemon slices on top of the chicken and rice.
Lid the skillet and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid and take the chicken out to a cutting board with a groove to catch juices. Slice into bite-sized pieces. Add the cheese and spinach to the rice in the pan and stir gently until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted. Return the chicken to the pan and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately or allow the mixture to cook an additional 5 minutes if the rice is still soupy.
- Yields: 4-6 servings
- Preparation Time: 45 minutes plus marinating time