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Playing Jacques Pepin's Wife Loved This Easy Chicken + Rice

"This is the chicken and rice that my wife loved so much. The chorizo is cooked with chicken thighs and finished with seasoning and rice and a great deal of chopped cilantro stems that I keep in my freezer. A great, satisfying dinner." —Jacques Pepin 

For more simple recipes from the legendary chef, check out his French Onion Soup and Chicken Salad.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 ounces each), skin removed and reserved
  • ¾ cup ½-inch diced chorizo (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup canned diced tomato
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro stems (frozen is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha or other chili garlic sauce
  • Fine sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Carolina rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 small pinch saffron (optional)


Serves: 4


Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add the chicken and chorizo. Brown each side of the thighs for about 8 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato, cilantro stems, sriracha and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the rice, water, capers and saffron (if using). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes.  

While the chicken cooks, place the reserved chicken skins on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place another sheet of parchment over the top of the chicken skins and top with another baking sheet to weight it down. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until crispy. 

Serve chicken and rice with crispy chicken skins.