Chicken and rice in a dutch oven

You know what is grossly underused in our household?  The dutch oven.  And aside from the fact that it’s super heavy, I have no idea why not because when I do, we can’t seem to get enough!

So this weekend, although it was about 5 million degrees in our house (ok, maybe closer to 80), I decided to make something in my shiny, pretty dutch oven.  (for the record, I would recommend doing this when it’s not hot or when it’s so hot that there is no way that an over turned up to 425 degrees would even make a difference).

The only redeeming thing I have going for me at this point is that we ate it on the porch.  Because it was too hot in the house.

The simplicity of this meal and its delicious taste (plus that fact that Peanut loves rice and she’s been super picky about eating lately) made the heat worth it.

Now let’s talk about my picky eater.

I have no idea how a kid that used to get ecstatic at the sight of food has recently learned to shake her head at anything and everything that we offer her.  She even pitches a fit when we try to put her in the high chair.

I do understanding that she’s learning independence and freedom of choice and blah blah blah, but doesn’t she understand that mommy can’t handle watching her skinny little toddler go almost a full day without eating much more than a bite or two?  Apparently, not.

So to resolve this new toddler eating disaster, I’ve decided that I would make food that she wouldn’t be able to resist.  On her list of top 10 favorites are: zucchini fritters, mac n cheese, chinese food (more specifically, lo mein), rice, avocados, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, peas, apple sauce, and blueberries.

What do you feed your picky toddler?  Any tricks to get them to eat?

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Chicken and rice in a dutch oven
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
simple recipe with few ingredients, this chicken and rice dish takes only a few minutes to prep and then cooks in your oven.
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • Chicken thighs (I used 8, but I like to freeze half of this)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can of whole tomato (the 12 oz)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Braise the chicken in the dutch oven with some olive oil, about 2 minutes on each side, over high heat. It should be slightly brown.
  3. While the chicken cooks, cup up the onion in thin strips and slice the garlic (I think this gives it more flavor). Chop up the parsley and basil, or whatever you have on hand.
  4. When the chicken is ready, set it aside and cook the onion and garlic in the oil leftover from the chicken. Scrape the sides a bit so you get all that flavor into it and cook for about 2 minutes until the onions look translucent. Add the tomatos into the mix and break them up. Add the water, rice, and herbs.
  5. Add the chicken back in. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring everything up to a boil, then stick it in the oven for about 45 minutes.
  7. Let the dutch oven sit, covered, for about a half hour before serving (I love the way this softens the rice).