Slow Cooked Chicken with Brown Rice and Spices

This is an easy recipe that can be prepared in less than 20 minutes, but requires a minimum of 6 hours in a slow cooker or low heat oven. The juices from the chicken blend with the spices to thoroughly drench and soften the whole grain rice until it becomes a sweet and savory mash. By the time you serve it, the meat literally falls off the chicken bones.
Slow Cooked Chicken with Whole Grain Rice
Serves 8


  • 8 pieces of chicken (4 drumsticks, 4 thighs)
  • 5 cups of boiling water
  • 2 cups of whole grain rice
  • 8 ounces tomato paste, unsalted
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Optional spices – 1/2 tsp each of: cumin, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom seeds
  • Optional for serving – fresh spinach


  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees Farenheit.
  • In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high flame.
  • Carefully place chicken pieces in saucepan to brown them (1 minute each side)
  • Remove chicken and scrape bottom of saucepan.
  • Sauté onions for 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and stir.
  • Add rice and stir.
  • Add boiling water and stir.
  • Add the spices and stir.
  • Place the chicken pieces back into the saucepan and bring to boil.
  • Cover saucepan and place in oven for 6-12 hours.


  1. Watch out when removing from the oven and when serving. The food will be VERY hot.
  2. Optional – serve over fresh spinach leaves. The heat from the chicken and rice will wilt them.
  3. You can opt for skinless chicken pieces as well, but without the skin, the long cooking process tends to dry out the meat. Cooking with the skin does not mean you need to eat it…

 Slow Cooked Chicken with Whole Grain Rice

Nutrition analysis, provided by Palate Works:

Served with spinach:

Chicken with Brown Rice and Spices - nutrition

Without spinach:

  • Tom L

    Yes! Recipes. Good Idea

  • Lost42LbsThisYear

    I love the idea of recipes on Fooducate! However, the carb count, calories, and fat content rather concern me about this recipe… I’d love to try it with some healthy tweaks!!

    • Fooducate

      Go skinless on the chicken if you want to reduce the fat a bit. Regarding carbs, they are not evil! Calories – this is a meal; a dinner at 480 calories is perfectly fine.

  • SFGranny

    1/2 pound tomato paste? Seriously?

  • jadegreen_eyz

    I have a 6.5 Qt. enameled cast iron Dutch oven so I am guessing I would only require 6 hours of baking at 225 degrees (gas oven). Giving a span of 6-12 hours is pretty wide.

    • Laura v

      Would I be able to put it in a crock pot instead of 6 hours of running the oven?

      • James

        Did anyone ever answer your question? I too would like to try in in the Crock Pot.

      • heartdoc

        I agree: this seems made for the crock pot. Might consider a quick broil of the chicken rather than browning in a pan.

      • chinatown

        Read description: “in a slow cooker OR low heat oven” — 6-12 oven hours probably translates to the ol’ standard High 6-8 hours in the crock. It’s done when the chicken is cooked through (check a thigh).

  • Steve Graves

    Can this be made with couscous instead of rice??

    • Fooducate

      Never tried it, but couscous may soak up too much liquid and become soggy.

  • Andrew

    This looks tasty – look forward to trying it! But why do you use an image of FRIED chicken to represent this dish? You might as well show us a pork chop.

    • GA-RD

      It is an image of THE DISH! A picture of a chicken leg and the seasoned brown rice….remember the tomato paste??

    • speaknow

      That’s not fried chicken. That is the rice.

  • Disgusted

    Why would anyone make a dish that takes so long to bake?????

    • Lost40LbsThisYear

      Put it in the crockpot before you go to work, and dinner is done when you get home! :)

  • Dreena Tischler

    I saw a couple comments about skipping the browning: searing the meat before cooking changes the structure of the proteins and helps keep the meat from drying out. In addition, searing kills surface bacteria which is a concern in slow cooking. I will be trying this in my crockpot. This link may interest some: The science of slow cooking

  • Plookey Jonesl, Jr.

    440 mg sodium, for one piece of chicken, me, I’ll cut the salt by 1/4, and substitute onion powder. cut the sodium to 110, or so.

  • Lisa Riley

    I agree with Andrew. If you are going to post a picture, make sure it is a realistic portrayal of the product!

  • Rachel

    Made this tonight because I had nothing else to do…I used skinless chicken and it turned out dry but I liked the way the rice turned out…probably would not make again this exact way.