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middle eastern chicken and rice recipe

Author: The Mediterranean Dish | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 6

Simple, comforting, one-pot chicken and rice dinner with a tasty Middle Eastern twist. Flavor heaven. Gluten free dinner in minutes!


Spice Mixture

2 tsp ground allspice, more for later
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground green cardamom, more for later
1/4 tsp ground turmeric, more for later

For Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (I use ButcherBox organic, free-range chicken)
Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onions (about 1/2 large onion)
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup cooked chickpeas (or from canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed
2 cinnamon sticks
1 dry bay leaf
2 cups boiling low-fat and low-sodium chicken broth


1. In a small bowl, mix the spices to make the spice mixture. Set aside for now.

2. Pat chicken thighs dry and cut them into large pieces (I simply cut each in half). Season well with salt, then season with the spice mixture. Work the chicken with clean hands to make sure all the pieces are well-coated with the spice mixture. Set at room temperature for 20 minutes or so (if you have the time).

3. In a large and deep cooking skillet with a lid (like this one), heat 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Brown chicken briefly on both sides (you are not trying to fully cook the chicken at this point). Remove from skillet and set aside for now.

4. To the same skillet, now add onions, carrots, and frozen peas. Cook for 4 minutes or so, tossing regularly, until tender. Add chickpeas and rice. Season with salt, 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp ground cardamom. Stir to combine.

5. Add chicken back to the skillet (nestle the pieces in between the rice). Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

6. Turn heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.

7. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve with a side of this pomegranate tomato salad; fattoush salad; or this simple 3 ingredient Mediterranean salad. Add a dollop of Greek tzatziki sauce, if you like!


Important tip: Wash the rice three times with warm water. Place rice in a bowl, tip a good amount of warm water in, swirl a little with your fingers. Dump the water out and repeat. It sounds like a bit much, but it ensures the rice never sticks. A trick I learned from Nigel Slater.

Nutrition Facts

Serves 6
Amount Per Serving

Calories 359
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.8g 20%
Saturated Fat 2.6g
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 589.4mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 31.4g 10%
Sugars 4.7g
Protein 28.5g 57%
Vitamin A 17%
Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 5%
Iron 14%
Magnesium 13%
Potassium 13%
Zinc 17%
Thiamin (B1)17%
Riboflavin (B2)22%
Niacin (B3)43%
Vitamin B637%
Folic Acid (B9)8%
Vitamin B12 16%
Vitamin E 1%
Vitamin K 21%

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