Greek Lemony Rice Pilaf with Chicken Legs

Contains:  Potential dairy as a garnish.  Is: Gluten-free.

recipe, Greek, rice pilaf, chicken

This one comes via My Greek Dish

You can also use other cuts of skin-on chicken.  Or, combine them.

Labne is a Middle Eastern dairy product akin to yogurt, except made from milk kefir.   It is somewhat more sour than yogurt.

I made this last Sunday for  a cooking challenge on  It was also going to end up in a Facebook cooking challenge (theme there being Greek), but I wasn’t ready by then.

recipe, Greek, rice pilaf, chicken

Prep Time:  15 minutes.
Cook Time: 40 minutes.
Rest Time: A couple of minutes or so.
Serves:  Two.
Cuisine:  Greek.
Leftovers:   Yes!

Greek Lemony Rice Pilaf with Chicken Legs

  • 4 chicken drumsticks, bone-in and skin on,   Try not to get super-sized legs.  Mine, however, were smaller than the ideal.
  • 3/4 cup rice (long grain rice or basmati  – I had basmati here.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • juice of 0.5 lemon (or more if you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Optional 6-8 strands of saffron.
  • 1.5 tbsps olive oil
  • 75g/2. oz. feta cheese for garnish (optional).  Other options are tzatziki, plain Greek yogurt, parsley, scallions, and / or capers.   I used a large scoop of Labne per serving, and the capers.


Pat the drumsticks dry with a paper towel.   Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Rub into the skin with your hands.

Using a suitable-sized pan, place on the cooktop and heat at medium-high.   Add the legs, starting with skin side down.   Let them brown and turn as indicated by the browning.  About six minutes per side.  Remove and set aside.

In that pan, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the onions.   Sauté until softened. Then add the butter and the uncooked rice.   Sauté the rice until it goes translucent.  (It will still be hard.)

Add the chicken stock along with the lemon juice to deglaze.   Add oregano.

Return the chicken legs to the pot, skin side up.

Cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken and the rice are truly cooked, and the rice has absorbed the liquids.  If desired, before the rice is done, addthe optional saffron.

Test the rice… cut into the drumsticks as indicated to ascertain done-ness.   Liquid from the chicken should NOT run pink.

Plate the legs – two drumsticks per person is a decent serving – over the rice.  Add a splash of lemon juice to each serving.   Top with additional freshly ground pepper, and with optional feta (or tzatziki, or simple Greek yogurt.  You can also sprinkle with parsley or scallions/green onions.   A few capers would not be amiss.

I used labne and capers.

greek,recipe,rice pilaf, chicken, drumsticks

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About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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2 Responses to Greek Lemony Rice Pilaf with Chicken Legs

  1. Oh, that sounds delish. Nowadays those legs found in grocery stores are gigantic, I may have to get Cornish hens for this 😄

  2. Miz Helen says:

    I love Greek food and this recipe looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday, 559 this week and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

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