Mediterranean Chicken and Lemon Rice

Two chicken thighs seasoned and fried over rice

When you think of some of the starter meals you cooked when you first started your adventure in the kitchen, you might think of Chicken and Rice. Chicken is somewhat simple to cook, and you can throw it in the oven and get it up to 160 degrees while the rice is boiling on the stove. Simple and delicious for any week night. Well, I wanted that simplicity but with a Mediterranean twist and an extra burst of flavor. Check out the Mediterranean Chicken and Lemon Rice below and let us know what you think!

Overhead shot of two plates with crispy chicken thighs on top of a concrete counter next to a blue linen and a bowl of salt

Inspiration

I decided to spice up this Mediterranean Chicken and Lemon Rice with a different dynamic and have the rice compliment it ever so slightly. It was a long day of work so the thought of now breaking out the pots and pans had me thinking about take-out. 20 minutes after refusing to give in to the take-out craving, Val and I ended up with this new masterpiece. Bursts of lemon and crunchy chicken skin, we were very pleased that we didn’t give in to the ease of ordering out and created a healthy and cheap dinner!

Two white plates with white rice, herbs, and peppers topped with crispy chicken thighs

Tools

Air Fryer: This is optional as you can bake the chicken thighs in the oven as well. We chose to use the air fryer for this Mediterranean Chicken and Lemon Rice because of how crispy we find the chicken skin on these chicken thighs to get in the air fryer compared to the oven.

Ingredients

Chicken Thighs: This tender piece of meat is the perfect choice for this dish. The outside is crispy while still holding the juiciness of the meat. If you are not a chicken thigh fan, chicken breasts will be delicious but you will miss the crisp skin.

Lemon: What is a Mediterranean inspired dish without lemon? Pops of citrus in both the rice and chicken will have you going back for seconds.

Spices: We use a blend of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, turmeric, parsley, and gochugaro. This might not seem like your typical combination of Mediterranean flavors, but give it a try and you will be surprised.

Rice: Rice is the best absorbent in out option of grains. Brown or white rice will work best to soak up the lemon flavor and take this dish to the next level.

Two chicken thighs with seasoning and herbs on top of a plate of white rice with red peppers

Step by step

Start making this Mediterranean Chicken and Lemon Rice dish by first cooking your rice based on the package directions. We do recommend adding a tablespoon of butter to the rice while it is cooking to give a creamy taste. Next combine your chicken spices and lemon juice to create an almost paste-like substance. Slice the top of your chicken thighs 3 times and rub the paste all over the chicken thighs and under the skin a little bit. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees or your oven to 400 degrees. Once heated add to the air fryer or a racked pan and cook. The air fryer should cook for 20 minutes, flipping half way through. The oven will take closer to 30 minutes, again, flipping half way through cooking. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees they are ready. Remove from the oven an let rest.

In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once heated add the red peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Add in your cooked rice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mix well and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until you feel the flavors are combined and everything is up to heat. Serve in a bowl with the chicken thighs overtop the rice!

From our kitchen to yours, cheers!

Chicken thighs on top of rice next to a blue striped linen
Two chicken thighs seasoned and fried over rice
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Mediterranean Chicken and Lemon Rice

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Mediterranean Chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs with the skin on
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp gochugaru
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 lemon juiced

Lemon Rice

  • 1 cup white or brown rice cooked based on package directions
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup lemon juice

Instructions

  • Start making this Mediterranean Chicken and Rice dish by first cooking your rice based on the package directions. We do recommend adding a tablespoon of butter to the rice while it is cooking to give a creamy taste.
  • Next combine your chicken spices and lemon juice to create an almost paste-like substance. Slice the top of your chicken thighs 3 times and rub the paste all over the chicken thighs and under the skin a little bit.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees or your oven to 400 degrees. Once heated add to the air fryer or a racked pan and cook. The air fryer should cook for 20 minutes, flipping half way through. The oven will take closer to 30 minutes, again, flipping half way through cooking.
  • Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees they are ready. Remove from the oven and let rest.
  • In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once heated add the red peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add in your cooked rice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mix well and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until you feel the flavors are combined and everything is up to heat.
  • Serve in a bowl with the chicken thighs overtop the rice!

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