Lime Chicken & Rice with Kale

When my mom went over to Melbourne, Australia for a little holiday and asked me what I’d like her to bring back, I didn’t say Tim Tam, Vegemite or lamingtons (though she did bring back 2 out of those 3 things. Can you guess?)… I asked for kale. And then she asked me what’s kah-il. To which I extolled its life-giving properties and corrected her pronunciation. Cos that’s what daughters do, right?

When she went shopping, I was told, my uncle (I’ve got family there) asked her why she was buying veggies to bring home. Of course her response was, “Because girl asked for this supposedly hard-to-find veggie.” Yes, my parents call me “Girl”. Because they couldn’t think of a name for me for the longest time after I was born and the creative nickname stuck. But I digress. Also, I’m not writing in full sentences today… I think my brain is not functioning too well at this hour.

Lime Chicken & Rice with Kale 1

Back to the kale story. She brought it back (no small feat with hand carry and all that check-in luggage! Thanks Mom!), trimmed the hard stems and kept it in her fridge for a week before I got to meet her. And if you know kale, especially these curly variety, they take up space. Thankfully being winter veggies, they’re super versatile! I froze 1 of the 2 packets she brought and after thawing, they were good as new… as though never frozen at all. Still crunchy, green and did not turn watery, although they did get the tiniest bit softer. Recipe of that coming up soon! Amazing vegetable to have on hand if possible. I’m so sad now because I’ve finished everything and have no luck getting some though good Instagram buddies have told me where to find them here. Bet they’ll cost an arm or a foot.

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It seems fair to turn it to a hearty one pot meal. Kale with chicken & rice? Even better!
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Browning the meat lends a richer flavour to the rice. And plenty of oil splatters. But it’s all worth it, I tell you.
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I used a paper towel to soak up most of that oil because greasy food isn’t pretty. Also, since I used boneless chicken thighs, it’s plenty oily already so better drain most of the oil off. More fat will be rendered as the chicken cooks later.
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Lime zest, turmeric & cumin. That makes this seemingly basic dish even more delicious. Also, you can appear really initiated in culinary arts when you throw spices into stuff. Try it some time. 😉
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Looks like a lot? Fear not! These wilt down to nothing in a minute.
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I used a mix of Jasmine & Red rice for extra fibre (who doesn’t need more fibre in their life?) & colour.
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Chicken goes back in to finish cooking and give off even more flavour to the rice.
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I could have removed the skin before this but.. would you?
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Plenty of lime juice to top!
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Rice perfectly fluffy & chicken nicely tender.
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The kale looks a little yellow but that’s because of the turmeric. If you want your kale to remain green, toss it in the cooked rice and cover to let it wilt in residual heat. I’ll definitely do that next time!
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That’s a dish for entertaining, I tell ya.
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I think I did kale justice, no?


“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” {Jeremiah 23:5}

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Lime Chicken & Rice with Kale
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 boneless Chicken Drumsticks
  • Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 medium Yellow Onions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Turmeric
  • 2 tsp zest & 1 tbsp fresh juice from 2 Limes (I used Kaffir Limes)
  • 1 bunch Curly Kale, thick stems removed & leaves roughly torn (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium Chicken Stock (I used a mix of Anchovy Broth & Water)
  • 1 ½ cups basmati or long-grain white Rice (I used a mix of Jasmine & Red)
  • Optional toppings: sliced Cherry Tomatoes, Coriander, Lime slices
  1. Season the chicken on all sides with salt & pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking.
  3. Add the chicken & cook until well-browned on first side, about 2-3 minutes, then turn & cook until browned on the second side. Remove with tongs & set aside.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium. Drain oil but leave about 1 tbsp in.
  5. Add the sliced onions, stirring so they don’t burn, until just softened, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the cumin, lime zest & turmeric. Stir until fragrant, another 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in the kale**, then add the broth & rice. Stir together.
  8. Lay the chicken carefully on top & adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  9. Cover & cook until the chicken & rice are done, 15 to 20 minutes. The broth would have been all absorbed. Turn off flames & leave untouched for about 15 minutes to allow steam to release.
  10. Sprinkle with the lime juice & serve.
** if you want the kale to remain very green, tear leaves smaller & stir in just as rice is cooked. Cover & let residual heat to wilt the leaves & then serve.

Recipe adapted from: Yasmin Fahr at Serious Eats

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