One-Pot Chicken Thighs with Black Beans, Rice and Chiles

A real crowd pleaser, this true one-pot wonder is adapted from Diane Henry’s “From the Oven to the Table: Simple Dishes that Look after Themselves.” That title alone can put a busy home chef at ease. While there is a fair amount of prep, the meal does take care of itself once it’s assembled.

Truth be told, we were a little shy on the amount of chicken. Unlike days of yore (just a few months ago), folks don’t just run out to the store to pick up a few things anymore. Like most, our ventures into the COVID-infected world are planned ahead of time, so we often try to make do with what’s on hand. In this case, only five thighs weighing in at two pounds.

*Now the recipe specifically indicates using a 12-inch skillet here; a smaller or larger pan could result in under- or over-cooked chicken or rice. And God knows, we have enough pots and pans to feed an army, but we did NOT have an ovenproof 12-inch skillet. So I reasoned using our 11-inch ovenproof pan with one pound less chicken should suffice—and it did, just beautifully.

When assembling, it’s important that the black beans and tomatoes are beneath the rice and chicken. The rice will burn otherwise, and you’ll have to soothe the feathers of some unhappy diners.

The final dish had tons of flavor, although it was only mildly spicy—even with two large jalapeños. I did increase the amount of tomatoes from 1/3-pound to 1/2-pound; but keep in mind, they add more liquid, so you may want to scale back slightly on the amount of stock.

The Hubs, who loves all things Spanish, insisted on using a white Spanish onion instead of the yellow onion suggested in the original recipe. He also questioned the use of basmati rice, saying Latino dishes typically favor medium- over long-grained rice. But since I was the chef that night, I used the basmati.

Enchiladas made with the leftovers.

Oh and if you have any leftover, make enchiladas! In a large casserole dish, spread enchilada sauce (store-bought or homemade) across the bottom. Shred the chicken, stir it into the rice and beans mixture and ladle it into flour tortillas. (We had enough for six.) Add some shredded cheddar or Mexican style cheese, then fold and lay each tortilla seam-down. Repeat until dish is full. Ladle more enchilada sauce over the top followed by shredded cheese. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for about 35 minutes. Top with chopped cilantro.

One-Pot Chicken Thighs with Black Beans, Rice and Chiles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 3 lbs.
  • Flaky sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 large white Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (different colors), halved, seeded, and sliced2 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 jalapeños, halved, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed in a sieve until the water runs clear
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
  • Garnish options: lime wedges, sliced avocado, pickled chiles, sour cream
Brown seasoned chicken thighs on both sides, about 5 minutes each.


  1. Heat the oven to 375°.
  2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet* over medium high.
  3. Brown the chicken on both sides about 5 minutes each to get good color. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the onion and bell peppers to the pan and sauté until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a small sauce pan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.
  6. Meanwhile, add the jalapeños, cinnamon halves, garlic and cumin to the skillet with the peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the black beans and cherry tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  8. Sprinkle the rice on top in an even layer, then add the stock carefully so as not to disrupt the rice too much.
  9. Add the chicken back to the skillet, skin side up.
  10. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. The chicken will be a light golden color, the stock should be absorbed, and the rice tender.
  11. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with garnishes of choice.

Adapted from a recipe by Margaux Laskey from The NY Times Cooking site

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