Thursday, March 5, 2009

Layered Rice Pilaf with Chicken & Dried Fruits

This recipe comes from my friend” , I was looking for a rice recipe containing dried fruit with the pilaf, and Farida’s Recipe was very unique with balanced flavors in addition to using Saffron. I hope you will prepare this dish one day, and enjoy the tasty flavours of this Pilaf.
Serve 4
1 ½ cups of basmati rice or long grain white rice
2-4 tablespoons of melted butter
600g of boned chicken pieces (breast and thighs)
¾ cup of peeled chestnuts (I didn’t use since it’s not the season)
½ cup dried apricots halves
½ cup of dried sour plums, I used dried prunes
½ cup pitted dates
1/3 cup golden raisin
1/3 cup dried cranberry
1 onion sliced in half circles
¼ tsp of ground saffron threads dissolved in couple spoons of hot water
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups home made chicken stock

I cooked the rice following the Lebanese rice pilaf; I wanted the rice to have the chicken flavours. Farida boiled the rice separately then steamed it with the rest of ingredients. If you want to see Farida’s recipe please visit her blog for instructions

Wash the rice couple of times till the water runs clear, and then soak it in warm water with salt.
Prepare your stock : on purpose I used boned chicken pieces to do my home made stock, I boiled the chicken adding a whole onion with some cloves inserted in the onion, a cinnamon stick, bay leave, black pepper corn, salt, a celery heart , couple of parsley sprigs, a piece of nutmeg and couple of whole cardamom, the stock was excellent. Half way through the cooking I took the chicken out, deboned it, and then returned the bones to the stock to continue cooking.
Soak the saffron in hot water to dissolve.

In a heavy bottom pot melt 1tsp of butter and start frying on medium heat the dried fruit starting with the apricots, prunes and dates, then add the cranberry and finally the raisin, make sure that you stand by the pot and stirring so the fruit will not stick to the bottom of the pot they will burn quickly. Move them to a clean plan, add the onion and 1 tsp of butter and cook for couple of minutes to welt and the chicken pieces and stir if more butter needed you can add another spoon or so, cook for couple of minutes to change color, move to a bowl.
Drain the rice using a fine strainer, add them to the pot with 1 tbsp or so butter and start frying them, in the beginning the rice will be wet and needs to dry before its starts to fry, frying the rice before cooking will give it a better taste , stir the rice to avoid sticking in the bottom of the pan, it will take couple of minutes before the rice started to dry and toast, you can feel it, using a wooden spoon keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Move the rice to another bowl, return the chicken and onions to the pot, and spread them in the bottom of the pot, sprinkle little salt and pepper and cover them with half the amount of rice, then cover the rice with the dried fruit. Pile the rest of the rice on top of the fruits. Add 2 2/3 cups of stock and the saffron water, and let the rice simmer on medium low heat, adjust the seasoning. Don’t stir the rice, when the water dries, shut the stove, and leave it to rest for 5-7 minutes it will continue to steam.

p.s.: the same dish can be prepared using lamb meat, and usually in all the Middle East Region this dish is popular with lamb , you can fry the lamb or bake it till it get golden brown, then boil it to make a nice stock to use it in this dish.

In Iraq, Iran and the Region they prepare this pilaf during celebrations, specially wedding celebrations


Molly said...

This also looks like something I would love! It combines three of my favorite items: chicken, rice and fruit! Okay now I'm hungry. :)

Arlette said...

this is good!!!!!!!
enjoy the recipes

farida said...

Arlette, so sorry I missed this post:( Thank you for using my recipe. I am flattered and honored. Your rice looks delicious! In Azerbaijan too, traditionally this rice dish is prepared with lamb, but I like it with chicken too. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Arlette said...

Hello Farida,
I need to thank you for this great recipe which you shared with us...
I have another great chicken recipe to use and thanks to you...