Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chicken With Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice

Adapted from "Jerusalem: A Cookbook" by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced (3 cups)
3 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs and/or chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
20 cardamom pods
1/4 c currants
1 tsp whole cloves
4 long cinnamon sticks, broken in two
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill leaves
2-3 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro leaves


1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan (for which you have a lid) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 to 15 minutes (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned a deep golden brown. Transfer the onion to a small bowl.

2. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and season with 2 tsp each salt and black pepper. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and use your hands to mix everything together well.

3. Heat the frying pan again (this time on high) and place the chicken and spices in it. Sear chicken for 5 minutes on each side and remove from the pan. The spices can stay in the pan, but don’t worry if they stick to the chicken.

4. Add the rice, caramelized onion, currants, 1 tsp salt and black pepper (to taste) to the pan. Stir well and return the seared chicken to the pan, skin-side up, pushing it into the rice.

5. Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. (If rice seems insufficiently cooked after 30 min, raise heat to med-low, add 1/2 c water, and cook for 10 more min.)

6. Take the pan off the heat, remove the lid, quickly place a clean tea towel over the pan, and seal again with the lid. Leave the dish undisturbed for another 10 minutes. Remove the lid and tea towel, add the herbs, and use a fork to stir them in and fluff up the rice. Serve hot.

YIELD: 6-8 servings

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