cook up rice

Best guyanese cook up rice recipe with chicken

Cook-up Rice is an essential Guyanese dish that combines rice, protein, and a blend of flavors in one comforting pot. This version, which incorporates chicken, is a culinary homage to Guyanese tradition and culture. 

For about an hour, marinate 2 pounds of chicken pieces in a blend of green seasoning—comprising garlic, thyme, scallions, and pepper. While that sits, prepare 2 cups of rice by washing it until the water runs clear, and set aside.

In a large pot, heat some oil and brown 1 chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, and a thyme sprig. Add your marinated chicken to this aromatic base, stirring occasionally until the meat is browned. Now introduce 1 can of coconut milk and 2 cups of chicken broth, making sure to scrape up any flavorful bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Once the liquid simmer, fold in 1 can of drained black-eyed peas and the washed rice. For an authentic touch, also add a whole Scotch Bonnet pepper; it lends heat without overwhelming the dish. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 20–25 minutes to cook and soak rice.

Remove the saucepan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Fork-fluff rice without shattering grains. Discard the Scotch Bonnet if you don’t want extra heat. Your Guyanese Cook-up Rice with chicken is now ready to serve, offering a satisfying blend of flavors and textures that make it a beloved staple for any occasion.

What is Cook-up Rice and why is it important in Guyanese cuisine?

Cook-up Rice is a big deal in Guyana. Imagine a comfortable, one-pot supper. It has rice, chicken, veggies, and legumes. The special touch comes from coconut milk, which gives it a creamy taste. Add local herbs like thyme and scallions, and you’ve got a dish full of flavour and a bit of heat from unique peppers.

Cook-up Rice is like a tasty snapshot of the country itself. It combines flavors from different cultures like African, East Indian, and native Amerindian. It’s the kind of dish families cook when they get together, making it the heart of many celebrations and gatherings.

It’s also considered a good luck dish for New Year’s Eve, which locals call “Old Year’s Night.” People believe eating it will bring you good fortune in the coming year.

So, Cook-up Rice isn’t just a regular meal; it’s a dish full of culture, tradition, and community spirit. It’s something you’ll find in nearly every home in Guyana, making it a true local favourite.

What are the essential ingredients for making cook-up rice with chicken ingredients?

Long-grain rice

Long-grain rice, cook up rice

The kernels of long-grain rice are long and thin. Unlike short-grain rice, which sticks together, these grains cook frothy and stay separate. This makes long-grain rice ideal for pilafs and casseroles that require distinct grains. In Guyanese Cook-up Rice with chicken, long-grain rice absorbs the flavors of coconut milk, chicken broth, and seasonings without losing its structure. The rice doesn’t mush because it has less starch, preserving its texture and flavor. It’s an excellent base for Guyanese cuisine’s various ingredients.

Chicken broth

Chicken broth for cook up rice

Simmering chicken bones, flesh, and vegetables in water creates tasty broth. It’s a versatile ingredient that adds flavor to Guyanese Cook-up Rice and soups and stews. In such dishes, chicken broth offers flavor and richness that water cannot. It makes the coconut milk creamy and enhances the dish’s flavor. In addition to flavor, chicken broth contains protein and minerals. It complements spices, herbs, and proteins in Cook-up Rice, making it hearty and harmonic.

Black-eyed peas or kidney beans 

Black-eyed peas or kidney beans  for cook up rice

Black-eyed peas and kidney beans are common legumes in Guyanese Cook-up Rice. Both add protein, fiber, unique texture and flavor to the platter. Black-eyed peas are convenient and cook quickly, with a nutty, earthy flavor. Kidney beans are meatier and tastier, adding strength to the dish. Whatever bean you use will absorb the flavors of coconut milk, chicken broth, and spices, creating Cook-up Rice a balanced, substantial lunch.

Aromatics and Seasonings:

Aromatics and Seasonings  for cook up rice

Aromatics and seasonings are like the special sauce in many foods, including Cook-up Rice from Guyana. They give the dish its fantastic smell and taste. When discussing aromatics, we mean things like chopped onions and crushed garlic. They make the dish smell good when you’re cooking it. For seasonings, think of herbs like thyme and a mix of green herbs called “green seasoning.” This usually has chopped-up scallions, garlic, and sometimes other green herbs like parsley. These ingredients work together to give the rice, chicken, and beans in Cook-up Rice a delicious and unique taste.

Canned Coconut Milk

Canned Coconut Milk for cook up rice

Canned coconut milk is a handy ingredient that makes food creamy and tasty. You can find it in a can at the store, and it’s effortless to use. Cook-up Rice, it does something special. It mixes with the chicken broth and other stuff to make the rice rich and flavorful. It turns the dish into something that’s filling and feels like a treat. Coconut milk even has some good-for-you fats. If you’re making Cook-up Rice or a similar dish, adding canned coconut milk will make it taste amazing and feel a bit fancy.

Spices and Heat

Spices and Heat for cook up rice

Spices and heat are the finishing touches that make a dish like Cook-up Rice come alive. They add that extra “oomph” that makes each bite interesting. Usually, salt and black pepper are used to season the rice and chicken, but the real stars are often the hot peppers. Scotch Bonnet or wiri peppers in Guyana are popular choices to give the dish a spicy kick. But remember, a little goes a long way! These peppers add heat but also a bit of fruity flavor. The idea is to make the dish exciting but not overwhelmingly spicy. So, spices and heat don’t just make the food taste better; they make eating it an experience.

What makes the taste of Guyanese Cook-up Rice unique?

Unique Guyanese Cook-up Taste Rice is made from varied ingredients and cooking methods that reflect the country’s rich culture. Coconut milk, green flavor, protein, and lentils distinguish this one-pot recipe

Coconut milk adds tropical creaminess, and chicken broth adds savoury undertones. The dish is fresh and aromatic thanks to the green spice, a handmade blend of garlic, scallions, and thyme. Add protein like chicken and legumes like black-eyed peas or kidney beans for a hearty, flavorful supper. 

The meal is spicy, generally from Scotch Bonnet or wire with peppers, making it a sensory experience. Guyanese Cook-up Rice is remarkable because each component creates a symphony of flavors. Cook-up Rice needs spices and heat to shine. The “oomph” they add makes each bite fascinating. Although salt and black pepper are used to season rice and poultry, hot peppers are generally the highlight. Scottish Bonnet or wiri peppers are famous in Guyana for spice. But remember, a little goes far! These peppers are spicy and fruity. The food should be spicy but not overbearing. Spices and heat make food taste better and make dining an experience.

How many calories does cook-up rice have?

The number of calories in Cook-up Rice can differ depending on how it’s made and how much you eat. On average, one serving of cooked rice with chicken and beans might have around 300 to 500 calories in a cup. But remember, this can change based on the type of chicken and how much of everything you use. To know the exact calories, you can use a unique calculator or app that looks at your ingredients. That way, you’ll better understand how many calories are in the Cook-up Rice you’re making.

When should the coconut milk and chicken broth be added?

You should add the coconut milk and chicken broth while you’re cooking Guyanese Cook-up Rice. First, after you’ve cooked the chicken and sautéed things like onions and garlic, you can pour in the coconut milk. It will make the dish creamy and flavorful. Then, when everything is simmering, you add the chicken broth. This adds more taste to the dish. The rice will soak up the coconut milk and chicken broth as it cooks, making it really delicious. Just follow your recipe’s instructions to know the exact steps.

Cook up rice recipe with chicken

Difficulty:IntermediatePrep time: 30 minutesCook time:1 hour 30 minutesRest time:00 minutesTotal time:2 hours Servings:8 servingsCalories:400 kcal Best Season:Summer


Get ready to enjoy the excellent taste of Guyanese Cook-Up Rice with chicken. This recipe mixes tender chicken, yummy spices, creamy coconut milk, and long-grain rice to create a delicious combination. It’s a classic one-pot dish that shows the essence of Guyanese culture and the feeling of being together in a meal.



  1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat cooking oil over medium heat. Sauté chopped onion, minced garlic, and thyme until fragrant.
  3. Add marinated chicken to the pot and brown on all sides.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and stir well with the chicken.
  5. Add the washed rice to the pot and mix with the chicken and coconut milk.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  7. Mix in the drained black-eyed peas or kidney beans.
  8. If desired, add a whole Scotch Bonnet or wiri wiri pepper for heat (remove before serving if not desired).
  9. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked and tender.
  10. Check the rice and add more water or broth if needed. Continue cooking if necessary.
  11. Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  12. Gently fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
  13. Remember to remove the Scotch Bonnet pepper if used.


  • Green seasoning typically includes herbs like scallions, garlic, and thyme blended together.
  • Adjust the level of heat by adding more or less of the optional pepper.
  • You can customize the choice of beans based on your preference.
Keywords:rice, Guyanese Cook Up Rice, cook up rice
Nutrition Facts

Servings 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories 400
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g24%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Sodium 400mg17%
Total Carbohydrate 45g15%
Dietary Fiber 4g16%
Sugars 3g
Protein 20g40%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

How to Make Traditional Caribbean Cook-Up Rice

Making traditional Caribbean Cook-Up Rice is a Caribbean culinary adventure. It’s excellent with rice, chicken, and seasonings.

  • Start with marinating chicken in “green seasoning.” A variety of herbs makes chicken delicious. While that’s happening, wash the rice.
  • In a big pot, sauté onions, garlic, and thyme in oil. Add marinated chicken for flavor and color.
  • Now for the cool part. Pour coconut milk. Creamy, it makes the dish outstanding. For extra taste, add rice and chicken broth.
  • You can add black-eyed peas or kidney beans—little nibbles of goodness.
  • Add a peppery Scotch Bonnet for spice. The dish is slightly heated.
  • Let everything cook until the rice is tender and tasty. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool.
  • To serve, gently stir the rice with a fork. Remove the hot pepper before serving.

Traditional Caribbean Cook-Up Rice with lots of flavor. Not simply food—it’s a taste of Caribbean culture and delectable customs.


Cook-Up Rice isn’t just food; it’s a piece of Guyanese culture and Caribbean flavor. This unique dish brings people together at family gatherings, parties, and even regular meals.

Think of it like a musical blend of rice, chicken, spices, and coconut milk. The mix of flavors and textures is fantastic. It’s a way of bringing together different influences that shaped Guyana’s identity. The unique green seasoning and sometimes spicy Scotch Bonnet peppers add even more excitement.

While it cooks, Cook-Up Rice isn’t just on the stove; it’s creating a whole experience. Sharing it isn’t just about eating; it’s about connecting and celebrating tradition.

When you eat Cook-Up Rice for good luck on New Year’s Eve or with family, remember that it’s a taste of history, community, and the Caribbean’s vivacious spirit. Each bite tastes like a piece of family history.

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