Being a single gal, I haven’t focused on Valentine’s Day in a while. But this year, I decided I would treat myself to a nice spa day. Then I thought I’d just keep the festivities going by inviting a few friends over and making a special dinner. I knew it had to be something simple and easy so that we spend more time enjoying each other’s company instead of in the kitchen. So, this one-pan Spanish chicken and rice is exactly what the heart wants and needs.
Now there are many different variations of chicken and rice out there. But, I wanted to make sure this dish is incredibly tasty while keeping it low-carb and Whole30 friendly. Just because we are treating ourselves to a nice dinner does not mean we have to compromise our individual lifestyle goals.
The layers of flavor in this dish is what makes it so special. The chicken thighs are seasoned with savory warm spices like cumin, turmeric, adobo, and taco seasoning. Then, it is paired with Spanish style cauliflower rice for a low-carb friendly dish that will knock your socks off.
How to serve Spanish Chicken and Rice:
The dish itself is already layered with so much flavor so to serve, I just like to finish it off with some freshness to really bring out all the warm flavors of the dish. So, to serve I recommend squeezing some fresh lemon juice over the chicken and finishing with more fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
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Chicken thighs seasoned with Spanish and Cajun spices and served with turmeric cauliflower rice and fresh herbs. The perfect quick date-night meal.
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp no sugar added adobo seasoning, divided (I like Primal Palate’s adobo seasoning) SEE NOTES*
1 tsp no sugar added taco seasoning (I like Balanced Bite’s taco seasoning) SEE NOTES*
1 tsp ground turmeric, divided
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
4–6 boneless skinless chicken thighs,
4 tbsp avocado oil, divided
1 shallot, diced
1 poblano pepper, seeds removed and diced
1/2 a jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 12-ounce bags frozen riced cauliflower
1 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro leaves, plus more to garnish
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
lemon slices and wedges
To begin, make the seasoning blend by adding the paprika, 1 teaspoon of adobo seasoning, taco seasoning, 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper to a small bowl, stir and set it aside.
Pat the chicken thighs dry and sprinkle the seasoning blend all over the chicken on both sides.
Now, heat a large castiron pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil to the pan. Sear the chicken for 3-5 minutes on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
Add the remaining avocado oil to the pan and sauté the shallot, pablano pepper, jalapeño pepper and garlic until the peppers are tender, about 3-5 minutes. Season with a couple pinches of salt and pepper and add the frozen riced cauliflower directly to the pan. Increase the heat to high and cook the cauliflower for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Stir in the remaining 1/2 a teaspoon of adobo seasoning and the remaining 1/2 a teaspoon of tumeric until all the ingredients are well combined. Stir in the cilantro leaves and pepper flakes. Taste the cauliflower rice mixture and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Lower the heat to medium-low. Return the chicken along with all the juices to the pan by nestling them into the cauliflower rice mixure. Add a few lemon slices and cover the pan. Let the rice and chicken steam for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and serve with lemon wedges and fresh cilantro or parsley. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and enjoy!
If you can’t find or aren’t able to get your hands on adobo or taco seasonings that are clean with no added sugar, use this spice mixture for the chicken:
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp italian seasoning or 1/4 tsp dried oregano and rosemary
Keywords: Spanish chicken and rice