Middle Eastern Jeweled Pilaf with Chicken
This pilaf is aromatic and flavorful one pot dish, which brings in the exotic flavors of east.This rice and chicken dish is popular in Turkey and Jordan. It is called jeweled rice because it is garnished with shining raisins,dates, almonds, pistachios and pomegranates. Fried onions and saffron take this dish to a new level. I saw this recipe in a cook book and instantly loved it. Tried it as our Sunday lunch and my family enjoyed. This is a two step recipe. First you cook the chicken and then you cook the rice in the chicken broth and finally layer it with rice,nuts,fried onion and chicken. Try this,you will surely love it.
Recipe Source:Tom Kime, Street Food: Exploring the World's Most Authentic Tastes, DK Publishing,London.
Chicken- 1 medium chicken, cut into large peices
Basmathi rice/long grain rice- 2 1/2 cups
Olive oil- 3 tbs
Pepper corns- 1/2 tbs
Onions finely chopped-2
Tomato juice- 1/2 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Ground cinnamon- 1/4 tsp
Ground Cardamon- 1/4 tsp
Sumac- 1/2 tsp
Butter- 11/2 tbs
Chopped dates- 3 tbs
Saffron a few strands
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Or use the broiler,heat until medium hot.
In a heavy pan add olive oil and when hot add cinnamon sticks,cardamon pods and whole peppercorns and stir until fragrant. Add one third of the onion and fry till it is golden brown. Add tomato juice and allow to simmer for two minutes. Add turmeric and chicken pieces and fry till it changes color. Add two cups of water, season with salt and pepper and simmer in medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and sprinkle with Sumac and half of the ground spices. Bake in the oven turning once till the chicken is slightly brown.
Measure the amount of broth and then add water. You will need 5 cups of liquid. Add the rest of the ground spices and saffron,cover and cook till the rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. Make the rice fluffy and then let it sit closed till it is ready to be served.
In a frying pan melt butter and fry the nuts till golden and then raisins and dates. Remove from fry and the stir fry the onions till golden brown. Mix half of the nut, raisins and onions with the rice and use the rest for garnish. Place rice on a dish,spoon fried onions on top and then the chicken and scatter the fried nuts,fruits and pomegranate seeds.
Hope you will all enjoy!