This One Pan Chicken Bake is a homey comfort food dish that brings together the best flavours of autumn to enjoy year-round. Apples and onions add a delicate sweetness to creamy rice, and the horseradish gets all mellow, adding just the right amount of tanginess to make this a heartwarming chicken dinner. (Skip to recipe.)
It’s a glorious fall day, and I feel like roasting something in the oven – something savoury and full of fall flavours.
Mmmm. We have onion braids drying in the garage, and the apple trees are laden with rosy-red jewels. The purple onions and sweet apples combine beautifully in this lovely fall bake. A touch of horseradish adds a tangy counterpart, and the tender chicken and fluffy rice soak up the delicious juices.
It’s a perfect meal baked together in one pan.
And I think the day is still warm enough to eat supper out on the deck!
How Easy is this One Pan Chicken Dish?
You brown some chicken thighs.
Save those precious, flavour-loaded pan drippings.
Arrange the chicken in a pan, drizzle with those golden drippings, and tuck in the chunks of onion and apple.
Dollop on the horseradish and sprinkle with the rice.
Add water, cover with foil, and bake to tender, melting deliciousness.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: I use prepared horseradish in this dish. If you can only find creamed horseradish you could substitute it, but the recipe would no longer be dairy-free. Prepared horseradish can be found in the condiment aisle of the grocery store.
And of course, white onions would work equally well here – they just wouldn’t look as pretty.
I use converted, or par-boiled, rice here as it keeps its shape much better than regular rice during baking or long slow cooking. Converted rice is actually healthier than regular white rice. It contains 80% of the nutrients found in brown rice, because the par-boiling drives the nutrients from the bran into the rice kernel before milling. Plus, the texture is much nicer – the rice grains stay separate and don’t get mushy.
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 kg (2.2lbs) chicken thighs with skin-on and bone-in (6-8 thighs)
- salt (about 1 teaspoon total)
- 3 medium red onions
- 2 medium apples
- ¼ cup (60ml) prepared horseradish, from a jar
- 1 cup (190gms) converted (par-boiled) rice
- 2 cups (480ml) water
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Liberally sprinkle the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Saute in the oil, skin-side-down first (to release the fat in the skin) til golden brown, about 6-8 minutes per side.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
While the chicken is browning, cut the onions into wedges and the apples into 1 inch (2cm) chunks.
Remove the chicken thighs and arrange them in a 9×13 inch pan. Drizzle with the drippings remaining in the skillet (that’s where all the umami flavour is). Use a rubber spatula to get out every last delicious bit. (You can strain the drippings through a small strainer if you don’t want the chunky bits.)
Tuck the onion wedges, cut-side-down, around the chicken thighs. Tuck the apple chunks, also cut-side-down, in the remaining spaces. Sprinkle with more salt, to taste.
Dollop the horseradish in small spoonfuls over the meat, apples and onions. Sprinkle the rice evenly over everything, then pour in the water.
Cover the dish tightly with foil.
Bake for 1½ hours, or until all the water has been absorbed by the rice.
Serves 4 to 6.
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