I don't often post recipes from my native Ukraine, but when I do, I make sure they are the best and the most delicious ones. This Chicken Rice Pilaf is one-pot comforting meal, perfect for busy weekdays.
Chicken Rice Pilaf
I'm not going to argue, pilaf is not a traditional Ukrainian recipe. It's of Uzbek origin and usually made with lamb. Since I don't eat lamb, I've always used pork or chicken for my pilaf and it always comes out delicious.
In Ukraine, we've been making rice pilaf for ages, so I consider it a part of Ukrainian cuisine. It is believed that rice pilaf is always best when prepared by man. Perhaps it makes sense for many families, but since my husband comes back from work tired and hungry, I have no will power to ask him make dinner.
Well, I'm not even going to, since I'm the main person on the kitchen and I love recipes to be prepared my way. See, I'm really picky when it comes to cooking meat.
You'll probably be surprised to learn that I always wash meat prior to cooking. And I always remove all the bloody spots from the meat. OCD you say? I call it super picky. That's why I never ever ate a steak and not going to.
Well, back to the pilaf. Make sure to rinse the rice at least 3 times, but better 5 times until water runs clear. It applies not only to this chicken rice pilaf recipe, but to all rice recipes in general. Not going to get into details, but let's just say, it's healthier when your rice is clean.
You see that nice yellow colour? That's from turmeric. If you don't use turmeric in cooking, you're missing out. It's such a good for you spice.
This recipe is very versatile. You can make it with pork tenderloin or chicken thighs. Cooking time would be around the same and the taste just as good.
Chicken Rice Pilaf
- Rinse the rice 3-5 times until water runs clear.
- In Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pan and on the medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add chicken drumsticks and cook them for 10 minutes on each side, stirring occasionally to prevent from sticking.
- Add onion and carrots and give everything a nice stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 more minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, turmeric, cumin and cayenne pepper and mix everything well.
- Add rice and hot water so that it was approximately 1 inch above the rice level. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and gently stir water above the rice.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until water has absorbed.
- Wash and cut ¼ inch off garlic heads to expose cloves.
- Turn off the heat and insert garlic exposed head down into pilaf. Cover with a lid and let the garlic infuse the rice.
If you make this recipe, don't forget to snap a picture and post it on Instagram with a hashtag #lavenderandmacarons. I'd love to see your creations.
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