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One-Pan Apple Pilaf With Seared Chicken Thighs

This luscious chicken is served over a sweet and savory pilaf made with Granny Smith apples, spinach, and onions.
baked chicken with apple pilaf
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 70 minutes



  • 1 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, organic and pasture-raised if possible
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil


  • ¾ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped


Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and gently pat them dry with a paper towel. Season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Preheat a large sauté pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs to the pan and cook for about five to seven minutes on each side, or until deeply browned. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set aside.
To the same pan, add the onion, thyme, and salt, and cook until translucent, about three to four minutes, scraping any leftover chicken pieces from the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. (If things are sticking too much, add a splash of water and lower the heat.)
Once the onion is tender, add the rice. Toss to coat rice evenly. Add the broth and bring to a steady simmer.
Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Then add the apples and spinach and stir to combine. Nestle the chicken thighs into the pilaf, cover, and continue cooking for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the rice is tender and fluffy.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

For more apple-inspired recipes, see “5 Fall Apple Recipes.”

Photography: Terry Brennan, Food Styling: Betsy Nelson

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Maddie Augustin

Maddie Augustin is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer.


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