Set a large 7-8 quart dutch oven on the stovetop, over medium heat. Add the oil. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces liberally. Then place them skin-side-down in the pot. Brown the chicken on both sides, until the skin is crisp, 8-10 minutes. Then remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. *If using a combination of bone-in and boneless chicken, brown the bone-in pieces for 5-6 minutes before adding the boneless chicken. Cook another 2 minutes.
Add the onions to the pan drippings. Sauté for 3 minutes. Then stir in the celery, carrots, and garlic. Sauté another 3-5 minutes to soften.
Stir in the rice, thyme, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 6 cups water. (Reserve the parsley for the end.) Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Then set the chicken pieces on top of the rice.
Cover the pot with a heavy lid and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked. There should be pores at the top of the rice and no liquid is present.
Remove the chicken pieces. Discard the chicken bones and skins. Shred (or chop) the chicken meat into bite-size pieces. Stir the parsley and shredded chicken back into the rice. Serve warm.
SPICE SWAPS: This recipe is not spicy. I've only added ground cumin and black pepper, because it's meant to be mild and comforting. However, if you do not like cumin, you can use paprika instead. You can also add cayenne pepper or hot sauce if you want to kick things up a bit!INSTANT POT CHICKEN AND RICE INSTRUCTIONS: You can make this recipe in a 6 quart Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker, but you will need to reduce the ingredients by HALF. Use our servings slider in the recipe form to half the recipe, by setting it on 6 servings. When it's time to simmer the rice, add only 3 cups water and set on Pressure Cook High for 4 minutes. Then perform a natural release. CROCKPOT CHICKEN AND RICE INSTRUCTIONS: You can make chicken and rice in a crockpot. However, every slow cooker is slightly different, and some readers report they end up with mushy rice on the bottom and hard uncooked rice at the top.If you have had success making rice in your crockpot before (like maybe with this recipe) you will most likely not have any issues with Nana's Chicken and Rice. Be sure to brown the chicken and sauté the veggies on the stovetop. Then slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.