Herbed Chicken with Persian Jewelled Rice

Posted By Kerri

We fancied roast chicken for lunch but with today marking the official arrival of Spring (and the weather actually co-operating), we wanted something lighter than the traditional Sunday Roast.

Stephen made up a marinade consisting of olives, lemon zest, coriander, parsley, mint, onion and garlic. This was blended with oil and salt and pepper in the food processor before being slathered liberally all over the slashed chicken.

As an accompaniment, we decided on jewelled rice, a dish we’ve always wanted to make but been put off by the long ingredient list and complicated method. We got up early this morning though and, having thoroughly spring-cleaned our garden, had plenty of time to spend in the kitchen.

The rice dish is lengthy and does have a number of steps but it’s really worth spending the time on, if only for the crunchy, buttery pieces of rice that stick to the bottom of the pan (the ‘tahdeeg’) and get sprinkled on top at the end. It’s a dish that’s heavy on the sweetness which I find challenging but it did work really well with the heady, slightly bitter paste that the chicken was cooked in.

Stephen also made up a ‘gravy’ from the pan juices the chicken was cooked in which was brilliant. All he did was deglaze the roasting dish with some water, add a squeeze of lemon juice and then thicken it, but it made the most amazing, deep, meaty, fragrant dressing for the chicken.

Persian Jewelled Rice (from Diana Henry’s “Crazy Water Pickled Lemons”)
Serves Two

150g basmati rice
Salt and Pepper
1 orange
1 carrot
15g almonds, cut into slivers
1.4 tsp saffron threads
3/4 tsp dried rose petals (we didn’t have these so substituted rose water)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Seeds of 5 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
20g unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
15g pistachios, chopped
15g raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
15g dried barberries (we didn’t have these so left them out)

2 tbsp vegetable oil
15g unsalted butter

Wash the rice, cover with lightly salted water and soak for 3 hours.

Remove the peel from the oranges, leaving the pith behind, and cut into julienne strips. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for two minutes, then drain and rinse.

Peel the carrots and cut them into narrow strips.

Toast the almonds in a dry pan.

Soak the saffron in 1 tbsp of boiling water.

Mix the rose petals, cinnamon and cardamom together.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and saute the carrot for about 4 minutes until it is softening. Add the sugar and the orange peel and cook for a further minute. Pour on the saffron water and add the almonds, pistachios and dried fruits. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, drain and rinse the rice and add to the boiling water. Bring the rice back to the boil and cook fairly vigorously for no more than 3 minutes, then test it – the grains should be beginning to soften on the outside but remain firm in the centre. Drain the rice and rinse in tepid water.

To create the tahdeeg: In a separate pan, heat the butter and oil and, when sizzling, spoon on a layer of rice. Separate a quarter of the carrot mix and put aside. Layer up the remainder with the rice, sprinkling the rice on gently and seasoning with the spice mix and salt and pepper.

Make three holes in the ice with a spoon handle, wrap the saucepan lid in a tea-towel and cover the pan. Leave on a high heat for 4 minutes and then cook on a low heat for 15 minutes.

Once the rice has cooked, put the saucepan onto a cold surface to make it easier to remove the crust later. Spoon the rice on to a hot serving dish and garnish with the reserved carrot mix.

Mar 21st, 2010

4 Comments to 'Herbed Chicken with Persian Jewelled Rice'

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  1. You can see why it is called Jewelled…it is very pretty and colourful! Looks rather delicious and beautiful! xxx
    .-= The Curious Cat´s last blog ..Slight downward slope before recovery =-.

  2. Kerri said,

    Thanks, CC 🙂

  3. Must try the jewelled rice…
    .-= msMarmitelover´s last blog ..Riverford supperclub =-.

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