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One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice with Rotel
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5 from 6 votes

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice is a weeknight dinner winner! Seared chicken thighs seasoned in delicious spices on authentic Mexican rice.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings: 5 people
Author: Tania


Seasoned Mexican chicken

  • 5 skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (for marinade)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mexican Rice

  • Olive oil for pan
  • 2 cups long grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (10 oz) can mild rotel tomatoes and chile, drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Queso fresco crumbles for garnish
  • Lime wedges for garnish


  • Seasoned chicken: In a large Ziploc bag, combine chicken thighs with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Shake to coat. Let sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil on a large Dutch oven or a 5 quart oven-proof deep skillet with oven-proof lid over medium high heat. Cook marinated chicken thighs on both sides until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side (I usually start cooking skin side down first). Transfer to a plate. Chicken won’t be fully cooked at this point. Tip: give each side time to sear and develop a golden brown crust by not flipping too early.
  • Remove any excess oil, without wiping the skillet clean as the brown bits from the chicken will be the flavor base for the rice. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add rice and tomato paste, and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add can of Rotel tomatoes and chile (make sure it's drained), and stir to combine. Then add chicken broth and combine. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Bring to a boil and nest chicken thighs on top of the rice.
  • Cover with oven-proof lid, and transfer to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until water is fully absorbed and top of slightly golden brown.
  • Let it sit for 5-10 minutes (for the steam to escape). Garnish with parsley, queso fresco, and lime wedges. Enjoy!