Guyanese Chicken Cook-Up Rice

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  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Over night soaking of peas: 12 hrs
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1179 Calories
71g Fat
68g Carbs
70g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 71g 90%
Saturated Fat 43g 213%
Cholesterol 190mg 63%
Sodium 258mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Protein 70g
Calcium 113mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cook-up rice is a traditional one-pot Guyanese rice dish that is generally made on the weekends. It is traditional to make and serve cook-up rice on New Year's Eve.

Cook-up rice can be made with a single type of meat or a combination of meats along with peas or beans of your choice. They must be picked over and soaked overnight so plan accordingly.


  • 3 pounds chicken (cut into large pieces; drumsticks, thighs, and wings)
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 cup onions (diced, divided equally)
  • 4 sprigs thyme (divided equally)
  • 1 cup black-eyed peas (dried, or dried peas of your choice, soaked overnight)
  • 4 cups coconut milk (fresh or substitute with 2 cups canned coconut milk and 2 cups water)
  • 2 cups rice (long-grain, parboiled, washed and drained)
  • 10 large basil leaves (sweet, torn)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 green onions (sliced thinly; white and green parts)

Steps to Make It

  1. Pat chicken dry and season lightly with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat.

  3. Add chicken to heated oil and brown lightly on both sides. Remove chicken from pot and set aside, keeping it warm. The chicken will not be fully cooked at this stage.

  4. Add half of the onions and 2 sprigs of thyme to pot and sauté for 2 minutes or until onions are translucent.

  5. Drain peas well and add to sautéed onions. Stir and cook together for 2 minutes.

  6. Add lukewarm water to cook peas and cook until the peas are cooked 3/4 of the way through and the water has significantly reduced.

  7. Add coconut milk, reserved chicken, rice, remaining onions, remaining 2 sprigs of thyme, basil, tomatoes and green onions to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix.

  8. Cover pot and bring to a boil. When the pot comes to a boil, let cook on high heat for 6 to 7 minutes or until you begin to see the surface of the rice. Reduce heat to low, re-cover pot and let cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until the liquid has mostly evaporated.

  9. The rice should be glossy, the grains loose and cooked through.

  10. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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