A delicious one-pan dish in just 40 minutes

When you have mouths to feed this spicy one-pan chicken n’ rice is the go-to.

PREP TIME: 5 mins
IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, family, crowd-pleaser

Spicy one-pan chicken n’ rice

This is a classic Jamie Oliver number.

It’s one pan, tasty, and not over-complicated.

The spice (which is not very hot), with the sweet onions and tender chicken, is the perfect dish for hungry mouths.

And I had some hungry mouths when I made this dish.

The Kiwi Backpacker

As you may remember, I’m a Kiwi.

Far from the land of the long white cloud, Aotearoa, my backpacking days are over.

But it was because of backpacking that I ended up in England’s green and pleasant land (Jerusalem was my school song… no idea why?)

I left home, on my tod, with no idea what I was going to do or for how long.

First stop, with not a great deal of money, Australia.

OK, it wasn’t the big flight to the UK like most Kiwis with their 2-year work visa tucked under their arm.

But I really couldn’t bring myself to save the large amount required to enter the UK.

And, to be brutally honest, I’d seen a few programmes on Kiwis in the UK.

And it looked about the same living standard as being a student.

But with worse weather to deal with.

So, I opted for just across the ditch.


I know most people think Kiwis and Aussies hate each other.

But you fight with your family sometimes, don’t you?

So, I think we have that kind of relationship.

I mean, they are annoying.

And more Americanised than NZ-ers, bigger country, more people, sunny climate, good surf, and no, I’m not bringing up rugby (I think we know where we stand with that).

Anyway, I digress.

The truth is, it’s a fantastic country.

When you get away from the East Coast and explore Western and Northern Australia, you can only be impressed with the landscape.

And it was on this backpacking journey, that I met Brits.

Loads of ‘em!

This meant, in the end, I ended up here in the UK… and never left.

The new Kiwi backpacker

We recently hosted a Kiwi friend of the family’s son, here in Devon.

He was on his big OE (Overseas Experience).

With a huge wheelie suitcase.

And a laptop.

I mean… really? what?!!?

‘Backpacking’ has really moved on from when I did it.

However, needing a nice bed, a friendly face, and some good home cooking, remains the same.

And this is where our spice one-pan chicken dish comes into play.

This lovely, Kiwi lad, is exactly how you picture him.

He’s a tall, rugby-looking lad.

And he’s hungry.

Spicy one-pan chicken n’ rice

Spicy one-pan chicken n’ rice

This dish is a no-nonsense recipe.

You can pick up a jar of tikka masala curry paste.

Get the basmati rice out of the cupboard, along with tinned tomatoes, tinned coconut milk, and some frozen peas.

The key, of course, is to buy high-welfare chicken.

This is, of course, both the right thing to do, as well as it provides you with the best flavour and quality.

Needless to say, after a long day of exploring the area, our ‘little’ Kiwi wheelie-packer, enjoyed his home-cooked meal.

And asked for seconds.

I think that says it all.


Spicy one-pan chicken n’ rice

Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, chicken and rice, one pan meal, one pan recipe, spicy chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 1 kg chicken thighs , skin on, bone in
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tbsp tikka masala curry paste
  • 1 x 400 g tinned plum tomatoes
  • 300 g basmati rice
  • 500 g frozen peas
  • 1 x 400 g coconut milk


  • On a medium-high heat, place a large casserole dish and place in the chicken thighs (seasoned with salt and black pepper). Place skin-side down and cook for approx. 10 mins or until nice and brown. Then turn over and using tongs, remove the skin.
    Now., place the skin next to the chicken thighs and continue to cook until nice and crispy. Remove and roughly cut them up.
  • Peel and finely chop the onions and add to the pan – cook until soft and a little golden, then add the curry paste and cook for 10 mins.
  • Tip in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, then cook for 5 minutes, until thickened.
  • Stir in the rice to toast for 1 min or until translucent, then pour in 600 ml water.
    Give it a stir, turn over the chicken and cover it with a lid.
    Leave to simmer for 12 mins, or until the rice is cooked, stirring in the peas and most of the coconut milk for the final 2 mins.
    Remove from the heat when it starts to catch on the edges of the pan.
    Pour in the rest of the remaining coconut milk.
    Serve by sprinkling over the crispy chicken skin.