Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chicken Plov

If you live in the South, you may call it Purlough or if you live in the West Indies, you may call it Pelau.  Although the name and flavors change from  place to place, few will disagree that the combination of meat, fish and vegetable cooked in rice is a harmonious concoction. Whether its Pilau, Pealla or Plov I am sure you will recognize the similarities. 

I have had the pleasure of enjoying all of these amalgamations and yesterday I made Chicken Plov for friends.  I knew they had never heard of Plov so I was happy to enlighten them.  Plov is from Central Asia where it is typically made with lamb, chicken or beef.  It is sort of a cross between Indian pilau and Spanish paella. I think you’ll like this dish.  The combination of allspice, almond, and raisins work very well together. 
I used chicken thigh meat but if you want to use breast that’s fine too.  Just be careful not to overcook the breast otherwise the dish will be very dry. 

Chicken Plov

1 pound boneless, skinless thigh meat
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon allspice
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup olive oil
Black pepper to taste
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped/ slivered, toasted almonds
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 ½ cup white rice
3 cups chicken stock


Place chicken in a bowl and season it with ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon coriander, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon salt, turmeric, (I actually used 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric)1 tablespoon olive oil and black pepper to taste.
 Place on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked but not dried out. 

While chicken is cooking, heat a medium saut√© pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When pan is hot but not smoking, add onions, carrots and garlic.  Cook until onions become translucent. 

Add remaining spices along with rice.  Cook, stirring continually for about 2 minutes then add chicken stock. 

Bring rice to a boil; cover and place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.  

Once the liquid is almost completely evaporated, remove from the oven and add chicken. 

Place back in the oven for five minutes more. Remove from the oven.The liquid should be completely evaporated and the rice nice and fluffy.  Add the  raisins,almonds and scallions. 

Toss gently and serve.

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