- Place bird breast side up in a large, heavy bottomed pot, along with the split onion, thyme and bay leaf. Cover the bird, just barely, with cool water. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper to the pot. Cover and bring it up to a simmer.
- Cook for about an hour or until the bird is “falling to pieces.” If using a typical young chicken, it will not take longer than an hour and a half. If it is a laying hen, it could take up to 5 hours.
- Once the bird is “falling to pieces,” turn off the heat and let it rest in the broth for 30 minutes. Remove and reserve the bird. Discard the onion, bay leaf and thyme.
- Tear the chicken meat into medium pieces and add it back to the pot. Bring the broth and chicken up to a simmer. Add the rice. Resist the urge to rinse the rice, as the starch helps make the broth rich and homey.
- Cook rice for about 12 minutes, though depending on the variety or brand, time could vary. The rice should be just cooked through and hold its shape. Turn off the heat. Add butter. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt or pepper.
Tips & Notes
If desired, add a little lemon juice for balance.