How to Bake Chicken and Rice in Convection
Updated: Apr 13
The flavors of chicken baked with rice make for a delicious one-pot meal and even though the concept of baking everything together seems ideal there are some options worth considering that can make the preparation easier.
The Latin version of chicken and rice, Arroz con Pollo, has so many great flavors and is the perfect dish to feed a crowd but therein lies the problem, if the pan gets overcrowded the rice gets mushy, and it's hard to keep the chicken skin crisp. What is the solution?
Well, there are several options so let’s take a look at how to achieve great results using either your Steam or Convection oven.
What are the Benefits of Baking the Chicken Separately?
The easy answer is better control over the results of the cooking without sacrificing any flavor. When bone-in chicken is cooked with rice it creates a really flavorful broth, but if you roast the chicken pieces in your steam or convection oven you will accumulate a lot of juices on the pan that can be scraped off and added to the cooked rice and vegetables.
Another benefit is, once the chicken is cooked and slightly cooled it can be sliced off the bone and arranged over the cooked rice which makes it easier to serve and eat, especially when feeding a crowd.
What is the Best Way to Cook the Rice?
The rice and vegetables can be cooked entirely on the cooktop or started on the cooktop and finished in the oven. One advantage to this method is that the rice can be cooked in a large oven casserole dish perfect for serving, all you would need to do is add the cooked chicken and garnish.
When baking rice in a convection oven the dish needs to be covered for the rice to cook properly; however, when baking rice in a steam oven the rice does not need to be covered in order to cook through. If you have cooked rice in a steam oven you will have learned that it’s always better to add less liquid than when cooking rice in a pan. For example, instead of a 2 - 1 ratio a 1 ¾ cup to 1 will yield better results.
Can I Cook the Chicken with the Rice in the Oven?
When baking the rice a the steam oven, you can brown the chicken pieces and nestle them in the rice and bake the entire dish uncovered. The chicken skin may get a little rubbery but towards the end of the cooking if your oven has a broil option you could change the mode and crisp up the chicken.
When baking the rice in a Convection oven the dish does need to be covered for the rice to cook so the best option would be to cook the chicken separately and add it to the rice together with the pan juices at the end of the cooking.
In addition to cumin, turmeric, oregano, and smoked paprika rub for the chicken, the recipe I use includes peppers, canned chopped tomatoes and linguica sausage which I find adds a lot of flavor to the dish, and the garnish of Manzanilla olives and chopped cilantro is for me essential. I apologize if it is not authentic but it tastes delicious.
If you have other recipes for chicken and rice you may find these options for cooking the chicken and maybe the rice in your oven, you will be surprised how easy it makes meal preparation when you don’t have to stand at the stove.
When I began cooking with a steam oven back in 1999 I was blown away by how amazing potatoes tasted when cooked in steam, now whenever I read a recipe that instructs to boil water to cook potatoes, I turn on my steam oven and get amazing results. Check out my next post to learn more.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast