Elegant Chicken and Rice Dinner

4.9 from 12 reviews

Stuffed chicken thighs are so satisfying and delicious. The chicken is so juicy on the inside but golden and crisp on the outside and filled with a cheesy rice stuffing. This is a wonderful dinner option for company and can even be made in advance.



8 chicken thighs, with the bone removed but the skin still on

1 cup rice, uncooked

1 onion, finely diced

1 carrot, finely shredded

1 celery stalk, finely chopped 

1/2 cup mozzarella or provolone cheese, finely shredded

24 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon oil or butter, to sauté the vegetables

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

salt, ground black pepper, to taste

12 teaspoons dry herbs and spices (such as garlic powder, onion powder, dry parsley, chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano, paprika, etc.)

1/21 Tablespoon fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, dill, etc.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Debone the chicken thighs and clean up the chicken meat from excess fat, and skin leaving only enough skin to go around the chicken. Trim the chicken from all unpleasant things so they are neat and clean all around and on the inside of the meat as well.  
  3. In a medium saucepan, add uncooked rice and 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes. Immediately take the rice out of the saucepan to stop the cooking, drain it if there is any water left and place it into a large bowl.
  4. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet, then add the onions, carrot, celery and garlic, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and slightly golden.
  5. Add the sautéed vegetables to the rice. Cool slightly, then add the grated cheese, dry herbs and spices, fresh herbs (save some fresh herbs to garnish later), grated cheese and mayonnaise. Mix to combine.
  6. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt, pepper and dry herbs and seasonings.
  7. Take 1/2 cup of rice stuffing and form into a log by pressing on it with your hands very firmly. Place the rice in the middle of each chicken thigh and wrap the chicken around the rice, forming a neat bundle.
  8. If there is any rice left over, place it onto the bottom of the baking dish. I use a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and continue roasting for 15-20 minutes more, until the top of the chicken is golden brown and crisp.
  10. Serve the chicken hot. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, skillet or oven.


Make Ahead:

  1. This is another recipe that can be made ahead of time. Prep it completely without roasting, cover, refrigerate and cook when needed. Just let the baking dish warm up a bit before you put it in the oven, at least half an hour; the chicken will cook faster and more evenly and you won’t run the risk of a shattered casserole dish. This is a great option for entertaining. 

Keywords: stuffed chicken thighs, chicken and rice dinner, chicken stuffed with rice, rice stuffed chicken thighs