Tomato Chicken Pilaf

Indian cuisine: plate of pilau fried rice on table
Quynh Anh Nguyen / Getty Images
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

The dish is known as Kotopoulo pilafi (Κοτόπουλο πιλάφι) or Κοτόπουλο ντομάτα πιλάφι  - Chicken Tomato Pilaf. Anything with rice has the perfect potential to become a comfort food, so just by the name you know we’re on the right track.

This is a simple dish to make, yet packed with great flavor. The rice is cooked in the pan, so it has the opportunity to absorb all the wonderful juices - thus, you know you will be getting a delicious bite of flavor every time. One of my favorite aspects of this dish (besides the taste of the rice) is the lemon. It introduces a nice hint of flavor that pairs nicely with the tomato rice mixture.

When cooking this dish, just make sure you don’t skip the step of cooking the rice first. We do this so it separates and doesn’t stick together. Moreover, they won’t release too much starch into the dish as well.  

So go ahead, give this tasty tomato rice chicken combination a go. Lastly, feel free to use chicken breasts or other cuts of the chicken is thighs aren’t on hand!


  • 4 chicken thighs (skin on)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chicken stock
  • 1 can/15 ounces artichoke hearts (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Top chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

  3. Add grapeseed oil to a dutch oven on medium high and cook chicken until skin gets a little brown and slightly crispy, about 6 minutes on each side. Take out and set aside.

  4. In the same pot on medium heat, use the oil left over on the bottom of the pan to saute onions and garlic until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add butter and rice and cook until rice is translucent, about 2-3 minutes. You are essentially frying the rice initially before cooking it through.

  6. Add chicken (skin side up), chicken stock, artichoke hearts, tomato paste, and ½ of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat up to high until a slight boil forms.

  7. Turn heat down to medium low (simmer) with the lid on and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice and chicken are cooked through.

  8. Before serving squeeze a little lemon juice on top of dish and serve!

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