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Chicken Rice Pilaf Recipe in a dutch oven

Chicken Rice Pilaf Recipe

This Chicken Rice Pilaf recipe is an easy to make one pot recipe that is flavored with currants, all spice and pine nuts. While in the recipe below, I cook my chicken from scratch, It is also a great way to use leftover chicken for a filling and flavorful meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Calories 567kcal


To Cook The Chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs washed skins removed
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 8 cups of water

For The Currants:

  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup water

For The Rice:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup orzo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 cup long-grain rice rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 1/3 cup water boiling hot

As Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup fresh dill roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of scallions (green parts only) – chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Cook the chicken and make a quick chicken stock:

  • Place chicken thighs, onion, garlic, lemon juice, 1-teaspoon salt, and water in a large pot. Bring it to a boil, and then gently simmer (in medium-low heat) until the chicken is cooked through, skimming and discarding the foam from the top as you go, 25-30 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate, and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Using two forks shred them into smaller and thinner strips. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside. Discard the bones. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid that the chicken was cooked in.

Soak Currants:

  • Place currants in a small bowl and pour boiling water over it. Set aside.

Cook the rice:

  • Heat the butter in a large pan. Add orzo, and cook, stirring constantly, until brown. It will look like it is (almost) burning. This will take 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the allspice, cinnamon, pine nuts, and rice. Cook in medium heat, stirring constantly for 6-7 minutes, making sure that the rice is thoroughly mixed with orzo and spices.
  • Add 1 cup of the reserved liquid and 2 1/3 cups of boiling water, 1-teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Give it a stir. Bring it to a boil, turn down the heat to low, cover tightly with the lid, and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

Garnish and rest:

  • Remove from the heat. Open the lid, place the shredded chicken on top of the rice. Drain the currants and scatter it on top of the chicken.
  • Top it off with the fresh herbs and scallions on top of the chicken and currants. Put the lid back on and let it rest (steam) for 15 minutes.
  • Give it a gentle mix making sure that the shredded chicken pieces are equally distributed within the dish. Place it in a serving or casserole dish,
  • When ready to serve, season it with freshly grounded black pepper.


  • The amount of water and time to cook the rice may differ based on the brand you use. Check for the cooking directions on the package for the right amount of water and time to cook the rice.
  • I used 1 cup of the liquid that the chicken was cooked in to enhance the chicken flavor and subtracted that 1 cup from the total amount of water I needed to cook the rice.


Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 702mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1219IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 3mg