Guyanese Chicken Cook-Up Rice

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Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Over night soaking of peas: 12 hrs
Total: 13 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1033 Calories
65g Fat
40g Carbs
74g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1033
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 65g 84%
Saturated Fat 37g 187%
Cholesterol 200mg 67%
Sodium 311mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 74g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 121mg 9%
Iron 11mg 64%
Potassium 1296mg 28%
*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.


  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into pieces

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, or other neutral oil

  • 1 cup diced onions, divided

  • 4 sprigs thyme, divided

  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight

  • 4 cups coconut milk

  • 2 cups parboiled long-grain rice, rinsed and drained

  • 10 large basil leaves, torn

  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes

  • 2 medium green onions, thinly sliced

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  3. Heat oil in a large heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat until it shimmers.

  4. Add the chicken to the pot in a single layer, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, and brown lightly on both sides. Remove the chicken from pot and set aside. The chicken will not be fully cooked at this stage.

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

  6. Drain peas well and add to the pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  7. Add lukewarm water to the peas, the quantity according to package directions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook until the peas are al-dente and the water has significantly reduced.

  8. Add coconut milk, reserved chicken pieces, 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.

  9. 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, cover pot and let cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the chicken is cooked through.

  10. The rice should be glossy, with loose grains loose grains that are cooked through.

  11. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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