Spiced chicken and rice one pot


2 tbsp gee

olive oil

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1 tbsp ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 green chilies, deseeded

2 bay leaves

4 cardamom pods

3 cloves

2 long cinnamon sticks, broken in two

1 Kg chicken thighs, with bone and skin

1 tbsp tomato puree

3 tomatoes, blended

1 orange, zest plus juice

2 medium carrots, grated

2 Iranian dry limes

2 Knorr chicken stock cubes

2 tsp hawaij spice mix (see below for recipe)

½ tsp turmeric

2 tbsp Basbas Date & Tamarind sauce

500g basmati rice, washed until water is clear then soaked for 45 minutes to 2 hours

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For garnish:

70g almonds

90g raisins

5g parsley, chopped

5g dill, chopped

5g coriander, chopped

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, seal the chicken, turning, until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  1. Heat the ghee and 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the whole spices and fry for 1 minute to flavour the oil. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion become soft and golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilies and sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
  1. Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the blended tomatoes, orange zest and juice, carrots, dry limes, and bay leaves. Crumble in the stock cubes, mix well and add ½ cup hot water to loosen the mixture. Next add the hawaij and turmeric, mix everything well, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  1. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the simmering sauce and add enough hot water to almost cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, season well with salt and pepper, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat. Make sure to taste and adjust for seasoning throughout.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Remove chicken from sauce and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with Basbas Date & Tamarind sauce and transfer to the oven until cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the rice and stir into the sauce. Top the rice with about 2 cups of boiling water (the water should cover the rice but only by half an inch). Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes.  
  1. Whilst the rice is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan and fry the almonds until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove to kitchen paper-lined plate to drain. Add the raisins to the pan and fry until puffed, about 1 minute. Use your slotted spoon to remove to kitchen paper-lined plate to drain.
  1. Remove the rice from the heat and fluff gently with a fork to combine.
  1. To serve, spoon rice onto a serving platter and top with the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with the fried almonds and raisins and garnish with the herbs. Serve with a side of Basbas Date and Tamarind sauce (or Chilli and Lemon and Coconut and Coriander).


Hawaij recipe:

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cardamom pods

1 tsp black pepper corns

1 small cinnamon stick

½ tsp cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Lightly toast the whole spices in a small pan until they are aromatic. Place all the spices in a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Store in a sealed jar for up to 8 weeks.