Saturday, 10 April 2010
Fragrant Persian Chicken Pilaff [#241]
I made chicken biryani recently and wondered if this might not be too similar, but it was a different dish altogether - milder, gentle and very soothing. Brown chicken thighs very well, then sautee an onion in the residual juices in the pan. Add quite a lot of crushed cardamom pods - about 10 - a stick of cinnamon and a few cloves, plenty of black pepper and some salt. Then add part-cooked basmati rice (boiled for about 4 minutes, after soaking in cold water for 2 hours). Also add 2 bay leaves, and a handful each of sultanas and toasted pine nuts. Return the chicken to the rice, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of water in which some saffron has been soaking, then clamp a lid on and cook over a very low heat for 3/4 of an hour. At the end, the rice has fluffed up, and a lovely spiced rice crust will have formed on the bottom of the pan. We'll definitely make this Alastair Hendy recipe again.