This is my take on a traditional rice dish from the beautiful country of Lebanon that I hope to visit one day. I am not adding the mince meat usually cooked in this dish and I am not using bharat ‘spices’ in arabic nor the slices onions that are usually added.
I really love to cook this dish because it feels complete and very Middle Eastern. It contains meat, rice, spices nuts and sweet juice sultanas. Lots of flavours and textures that makes a delicious meal. There is no need to serve it with anything else, maybe plain thick yogurt, salad or simple side of vegetables if necessary.
Did I mention it’s easy to cook too ?
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cardamon pods
Handful flaked almond
Handful pine nuts
2 large chicken breasts (or any part of the chicken without skin)
2 cups of rice (basmati)
2 table spoons vermicelli
Step 1- Simmer the chicken in a pot of boiling water with the cinnamon stick, cardamon and seasoning. Cook till the chicken is tender.
Step 2- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot to cool down. Once cool, shred the chicken and remove any skin or bones and leave aside. Don’t throw the stock.
Step 3- In a saucepan ( I am using a rice cooker) add the washed rice, cinnamon powder and spices if you are using (Bharat or 7 spice) and seasoning with a table spoon of vegetable oil. Mix well and add the chicken stock (2 and 1/2 cups) and cook the rice.
Step 4- In an oiled pan fry some vermicelli pasta till golden colour and remove. Mix it into the rice once the rice is almost cooked.
Step 5- In an oiled pan fry the almonds, pine nuts sultanas for few minutes. Then set aside.
Step 6- Once the rice is cooked, add the nuts and sultans and shredded chicken into the pot and mix well. Serve eon a plater. Alternatively you can place the rice on a plate and then cover with the shredded rice and nuts.