This Burst Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice Skillet is the perfect one pan meal for any night of the week. With crispy seared chicken thighs, toasted rice and fresh cherry tomatoes, it’s hearty and super satisfying but still pretty healthy! Ready in under an hour, this skillet dinner is great for special occasions or just a family friendly weeknight meal.
How to Make Cherry Tomato Chicken and Rice
One thing I love about these one pan meals is how easy they are to throw together. It’s not the quickest recipe ever, but the flavor more than makes up for that. Plus, cleanup is a breeze!
To make this burst cherry tomato chicken and rice, start by coating the chicken thighs with a generous amount of salt and letting them sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes. The salt is going to displace the water in the chicken and make them so delicious. It also draws out moisture, making for extra crispy skins.
Once your thighs have rested, it’s time to pan sear them. Bone in, skinless chicken thighs are best because they have the most flavor and the fat in the skin will render to create the perfect base for our rice. For perfectly browned chicken thighs, start them off in a warm (but not ripping hot) pan and cook them undisturbed for at least 10 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when each thigh releases effortlessly from the pan and has a nice golden crust.
From there, transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and set those aside. You’ll probably have a good amount of fat in the pan. I like to drain off all but a couple tablespoons but this is up to you. While the pan is still hot, sauté the onion, garlic and spices. Dump in the rice and let it toast for a couple minutes in the chicken fat. This will add a really nice nutty flavor to the final dish.
Pour in a few cups of stock, a little balsamic vinegar and bring everything to a boil. Dump in those fresh cherry tomatoes and nestle the chicken back into the rice. Cover tightly with a lid, or if you’re using a cast iron skillet like me, just wrap tightly with foil.
Bake for about half an hour, maybe less depending on the size of your chicken thighs. To really make sure the rice absorbs all that flavor, let the skillet sit covered for about 5-10 minutes before digging in.
If you would like to re-crisp the skins (mostly for presentation), place the skillet under the broiler for an additional 3-5 minutes. But watch closely! It will burn very easily.
When you’re ready to serve, divide among plates and top with sprigs of fresh basil. I like to serve this burst cherry tomato chicken and rice with a simple side salad, some more fresh tomatoes and a pinch of flaky salt. Enjoy!
More Recipes to Try
- Honey BBQ salmon tacos w/ mango slaw
- Mediterranean meatball pitas
- Toasted lemon pepper orzo with crispy chickpeas
- Sticky date glazed chicken with coconut rice