This Thai Chicken and Rice recipe makes a balanced, filling meal that is bursting with fragrant Thai coconut curry flavors. It is a perfect meal for busy weeknights and is one that the whole family will love! Learn how to make homemade spicy chicken and rice with this quick and easy dinner recipe.
Thai Chicken and Rice Ingredients
Before we get to the recipe, let’s discuss ingredients. To make this easy Thai Chicken and Rice recipe, you will need:
- Avocado oil: I like to use avocado oil because it is a healthy, anti-inflammatory oil with a high smoke point, which is important because we will be using it to cook the chicken at medium-high heat.
- Chicken: It adds a good dose of protein to the dish. I like to use bone-in chicken thighs because they are inexpensive, moist, and flavorful.
- Salt and pepper: I always like to season chicken with a bit of S&P before cooking it, just to add a bit of flavor to the meat.
- Carrots and red bell pepper: This is the combination of vegetables I like to use when making this recipe, but feel free to use whatever veggies you love best in a Thai curry.
- Garlic and ginger: These two ingredients are a must in Asian cooking. Always use freshly grated/minced garlic and ginger for the best flavor.
- Red curry paste: This is used to add intense curry flavor and heat to the recipe in one step. Different brands of curry paste can vary significantly in terms of spiciness and flavor. See below for my top choices.
- Stock: I prefer to use chicken broth rather than water in this recipe, because using stock adds more flavor to the dish.
- Fish sauce: A little splash adds savory umami flavor to the broth. If you’ve never cooked with it before, it does have a slightly pungent aroma, but the smell disappears once it is in the rice. If you really don’t want to use it though, you can use soy sauce or tamari instead.
- Coconut sugar: A tiny bit of sweetness is used to balance out all the other flavors in this recipe.
- Coconut milk: It is added to give creaminess and also tone down the heat from the curry paste. I usually use full-fat coconut milk, but you’re welcome to use low-fat if you prefer.
- Rice: I recommend using long-grain, white rice, because it cooks up fluffy and not sticky, with individual grains remaining distinct and firm. I find that Jasmine or Basmati rice gives the best consistency, fragrance, and flavor.
- Lime juice: A good squeeze of citrus brightens all the flavors in this recipe. Make sure you always add lime at the very end of cooking, so that you don’t kill the flavor.
Thai Chicken and Rice Toppings
Don’t forget toppings! I always fall in the-more-the-merrier camp when it comes to toppings in Thai recipes. Garnishing adds extra layers of flavor, texture, and makes the dish more presentable when serving. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Chopped fresh cilantro: This gives a huge burst of freshness and also add a nice bright pop of color.
- Thai bird chilies: If you would like some extra heat (or you can add crushed red pepper flakes instead).
- Lime wedges: In case you want to add a bit more citrusy flavor to the dish after it is done cooking.
How to Make Thai Chicken and Rice
Here is the basic outline of how to make this Thai Chicken with Rice recipe, plus some helpful tips to ensure it comes out perfect:
1. Brown the chicken: Start by seasoning the chicken in a bit of salt of pepper. Then, using a pair of tongs, add the chicken pieces to a hot, oiled pot. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes, then flip it over and cook the other side. Once the chicken is golden-brown on all sides, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Tip: The chicken pieces are ready to be flipped over when they release easily from the pan.
2. Start the vegetables and rice: In the same pot, sauté the vegetables, then add in the garlic, ginger and curry paste. Stir in the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and rice. Allow everything come to a simmer.
3. Let the chicken and rice finish cooking: Add the chicken back to the pot and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Leave it alone to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Stir in the lime juice at the very end. Then, you can serve the dish with some cilantro and lime wedges, if you want an extra burst of freshness and flavor.
Tip: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked through. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
Should you remove chicken skin?
Chicken skin is known to be high in fat. However, according to the health experts at Harvard, most of the fat in chicken skin is healthy, unsaturated fat (source). In addition, cooking with the skin keeps the chicken flavorful and moist, so you don’t need to use potentially harmful seasoning or breading as a result. So if you’re cooking chicken, there’s no need to strip the skin. You can still enjoy skin-on chicken (which is used in this recipe) in moderation as a part of a healthy diet.
More Easy Thai Dinner Recipes
If you’re looking for more Thai food inspiration, here are some of my favorites on the blog:
- Spicy Thai Noodle Soup
- Easy Coconut Curry Rice
- Thai Coconut Shrimp with Rice
- Thai Cold Noodle Salad
- Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup
For this Thai Chicken with Rice recipe, I recommend:
Here are a few items that I suggest using to ensure this recipe comes out perfect every single time:
- Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste – This is one I use and love! It gives amazing, authentic flavor to Thai dishes and adds the perfect amount of heat.
- Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk – I love the taste and consistency of this brand. It adds so much body and richness to curries and soups.
- Zulay Citrus Juicer – If you cook with a lot of citrus, a sturdy juicer is a must. This one works for both lemons and limes and will squeeze out every last drop of juice like a pro. Worth every penny.
If you make this Thai Chicken and Rice recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡
Thai Chicken and Rice (Easy One-Pan Recipe)
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Optional toppings: Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and red chiles
- Season the chicken generously on all sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large frying pan or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes, until it begins to brown and releases easily from the pan.
- Flip the chicken over and cook the other side for an additional 5 minutes until browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the carrots and bell pepper to the same pan. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until slightly softened.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Stir in the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and rice. Bring mixture to a simmer.
- Return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
- Stir in the lime juice and serve warm, garnished with optional toppings if using.
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