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You are here: Croan Cottage Blog » Recipes » Blog article: Chicken thighs, Rainbow Chard and Rice

Chicken thighs, Rainbow Chard and Rice

I love Rainbow Chard! It’s easy to grow (the usual garden pests don’t eat it), it’s colourful, it’s good for you and it’s tasty!

17523036_10154629242733892_4549252885970522287_nSwiss Chard or Rainbow Chard can stay in the ground all Winter and so are one of the few zero-km Winter greens available. I use it all winter: in Noodle dishes, stir fries, I pickle the stalks and I cure them but, as I grow a lot of it, when Winter gives way to spring I’m always in a bit of a panic to use up the last of the plants.

This dish was born of that panic and is a classic ‘use up what’s in the fridge dish’.

It’s great, very easy and very tasty. This will be done again!

(serves 4)

  • 1 Free Range Chicken thigh per person. These are cheap, so spend the extra few cent on free-range. If you don’t use free range, don’t be surprised if the thighs are very fatty and have no taste!
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 1 bunch of Swiss or Rainbow Chard (probably 8 – 10 stalks). Clean and cut the stems into 3cm lengths and cut any fat ones in half length ways. Slice the leaves into 4 cm slices.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and a little lemon juice
  • 70g per person of Basmati (or other long grain) Rice (280g)
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • A small glass of white Wine. You’re just going to use this to deglaze the pan, so don’t worry if you’re making this for kids – it won’t taste of booze!
  • A little fresh Chilli OR some Chilli flakes OR some Smoked Paprika (depending on how hot you like your food).
  • Salt and Pepper to season


  1. Pat dry the skin side of the Chicken Thighs and season them with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a heavy pot or Oven dish (with a lid). You won’t need oil in it as the Thighs render out quite a bit of fat. Put the chicken pieces skin side down in the pot and brown them for about 7 minutes. Turn them and fry the meat side for another 5 minutes. Take them out of the pot and keep them warm on a plate.
  3. Add the white wine (there will be a bit of splashing) and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes.
  4. Turn down the heat a little and fry the Carrot and Onion for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the Chard stems and Garlic and fry for another 3 minutes. Don’t let the Garlic burn!
  6. Add the Chard leaves, lemon zest, spices
    and the rice. Stir these in and try to coat all of the rice in a little of the fat. Cook for another minute.
  7. Now add the stock and seasoning and give everything a good stir. Turn the heat back up until the broth is bubbling. Reduce the heat to low so that the liquid is just simmering.
  8. Put the Chicken back in, skin side up, on top of the rice mixture. Pop on the lid and cook everything until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is done. This will probably take about 20 minutes.
  9. All of the liquid should be absorbed in the cooking but don’t let it get dry. The rice needs to be in enough liquid to soften, so you might need to add a little boiling water towards the end. Check the rice for seasoning as it’s cooking too.
  10. By the time it’s all cooked, the skin will have softened on the Chicken. I like a crispy skin so I give it a blast of the blow-torch, but a few minutes under a hot grill will achieve the same result.
  11. Serve the Chicken on the Rice mixture.

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