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Tomato Basil Chicken and Rice Bake

Tomato Basil Chicken & Rice bake
Tomato Basil Chicken & Rice bakeNathan Congleton / TODAY


  • 6 chicken thighs , skin on, bone in
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pe, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomato strips in oil , chopped (optional: but adds flavour)
  • 1 1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice , rinsed (arborio rice may also be used for a risotto-like consistency)
  • 14 1/20 ounce (400g) tin crushed tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth (or chicken stock)
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt (adjust to your taste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper, (adjust to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Extra chopped fresh basil (to serve)

Chef notes

If you're looking for a veggie-laden and protein-packed family dinner, this is it. Using chicken thighs means the meat stays nice and juicy and the resulting dish is delicious!



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in a large, deep ovenproof cast iron skilletor pan (over 12-inches). Add the chicken, skin side down and sear for 3-4 mins on medium-high heat. Turn each thigh once and sear until golden all over. Transfer the chicken onto a warm plate.  


Add the garlic and fry until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion and red peppers then fry for about 3 minutes or until the onion is transparent. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes, rice, crushed tomatoes and chicken broth (or stock). Season with salt, pepper and dried basil. Bring to a simmer and allow the rice to soak up all the tomato flavors.


Place chicken thighs, skin side up, over rice. Bring to a boil. Rotate chicken in the tomato sauce to coat, then cover with foil. Transfer to preheated oven and allow to bake for about 40 minutes, or until the rice has softened and absorbed the liquid and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in an extra 1/4 cup of water to the rice, only if needed (if rice hasn't cooked fully).

4.  Remove cover and cook at 400 degrees until chicken is golden. 


Season with extra salt to taste. Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil and serve.