Lemon Chicken with Wild Rice is a deliciously flavorful easy to make comfort meal cooked in one skillet combining wine-infused wild rice with perfectly cooked tender and juicy chicken thighs for a simple yet elegant tasting dinner.
Who doesn’t love a tantalizing meal of tender, juicy Lemon Chicken with Wild Rice that comes together without total mayhem in the kitchen? If you’re looking to impress without a mess, this is your recipe right here.
I use chicken thighs in the recipe because, for one, they always turn out tender and juicy and have a ton of flavor. They are also reasonably budget-friendly for the most part compared to chicken breasts. Be sure when you purchase them, you opt for the package that contains Bone-in and skin on for this Lemon Chicken with Wild Rice for the best results.
What to look for when buying chicken
Always look at the date, I try not to buy any chicken that is near the time of the sale date unless I am making it that day, or able to immediately package it and freeze the chicken with a note that it is near the sale date so when I unthaw the chicken I know to use it that day.
Select chicken that has a slightly pinkish color rather than a grey tone. The closer the chicken is to spoiling, the pigment becomes more of a dull grey.
Be sure the skin is intact as we are going for a crispy skin for this recipe. So look for the packages that have the skin facing up in the box.
Buy a package that reflects your needs. This recipe calls for six chicken thighs, so look for a package that can be split and frozen adequately for future use or a smaller container is best.
Lemon Chicken with Wild Rice is made from easy to find ingredients that you can purchase right at your local market that are in season or available to purchase much of the year. If you are struggling to find fresh herbs due to being in a colder climate, replace the fresh Rosemary with dried Rosemary. I would not recommend using dried parsley in place of the fresh. It just doesn’t seem to have much flavor compared to the fresh parsley.
What ingredients are needed for this recipe?
Four tablespoons Olive oil
Six large chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
Two tablespoons Butter
One medium Yellow onion roughly diced
Four cloves fresh garlic roughly chopped
One large Lemon sliced
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
One cup Wild rice blend
One and ½ cups Chicken broth low sodium is recommended
¼ cup Red table wine
Two bay leaves optional
One teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
Two tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Frequently asked Questions
I prefer white meat instead of dark chicken meat can I use chicken breasts instead? Chicken breasts can be substituted for the chicken thighs. I recommend using chicken breasts that are on the bone and have the skin intake for maximum flavor and juiciness. You will need to adjust the recipe to reflect the more substantial portions of meat. When doing so, be sure to change the searing time and baking time.
I prefer white wine instead of red wine can I use white wine in this recipe instead of red? Yes, is my answer. Just be sure to use a white table wine that you actually would drink. Do not use cooking wine.
I do not have fresh lemons but do have concentrated lemon juice in a bottle can I use it instead of the fresh lemon juice? This is not something I would recommend due to the difference in taste, but in a pinch, without a choice, it can be done. I would recommend using less as it will make the rice taste a little on the acidic and bitter side.
How important is it that I sear the chicken beforehand? This is a crucial step and should not be skipped. The recipe will not turn out properly if this step is skipped.
Can I use different onions in place of the yellow onion? If using a different onion, I would recommend white onions or even shallots in place of the yellow onions. I do not recommend sweet onions, red onions, salad onions, or green onions being used. The flavor will be completely off.
How do I save this recipe? Won’t it let me copy and paste? If you would like to keep the recipe for future use, please see the recipe card for a print option. It will be located in the top right-hand corner, click print. You can also save the recipe by pinning it to Pinterest.
The wine is significant in this Lemon and Chicken with Wild Rice recipe. Please be sure to use a wine suitable for drinking. I can not stress enough that cooking wines are not a very good choice due to the vinegary acidic taste of them. Below are some wines that are more suitable for this recipe.
Tips on wines for the recipe
Only use quality table wine for the Lemon and Chicken with Wild Rice recipe. It does not have to be an expensive wine, but it is crucial that it be something you would drink.
A Cabernet, merlot, pinot noir, or zinfandel are all excellent choices for the Lemon and Chicken with Wild Rice recipe
A Sauvignon blanc, an unoaked chardonnay, or even sparkling wine will work for the Lemon and Chicken with Wild Rice recipe.
Lemon Chicken and Wild Rice
- 4 tablespoons Olive oil
- 6 large Chicken thighs bone in, skin on, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 medium Yellow onion roughly diced
- 4 cloves Fresh garlic roughly chopped
- 1 large Lemon sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup Wild rice blend
- 1½ cups Chicken broth low sodium is recommended
- ¼ cup Red table wine
- 2 bay leaves optional
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Begin gathering all the ingredients and equipment need to make the recipe while the oven is preheating. You will need an ovenproof metal skillet or cast-iron skill, a sharp kitchen knife, paper towels, and measuring cups and spoons.
- On medium heat begin heating the ovenproof skillet or cast-iron skillet. Pat dry the chicken thighs and season both sides of the meat. Add the olive oil to the skillet and let it heat before adding the seasoned chicken thighs, Place the chicken thighs skin down and let cook about 8 minutes before turning. After turning cook another 6 minutes on the other side. Remove the chicken from skillet and place on a clean platter until needed.
- Reduce the heat under the skillet to low-medium heat before adding butter, let it melt and then add the chopped onions, season with kosher salt to taste, cook for about 3-4 minutes before adding the chopped garlic to the skillet. Next, add the wild rice to the skillet and stir it for about 2 minutes just to toast the wild rice in the butter and onion mixture.
- Deglaze the metal skillet by adding the red wine, use a wooden spoon to remove all the delicious little bits on the bottom of the skillet by stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the red wine has reduced. Add the Chicken broth and the juice of one lemon. Then add the bay leaves, rosemary, and parsley to the skillet. Season the rice at this time with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. stir to combine the ingredients. Place the seared chicken thighs on the top of the rice. Place the lemon slices on top of the chicken thighs.
- Bake in a 400° oven for 40-45 minutes uncovered. Broil for 6 minutes if the skin needs to be crisped further.
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