I COULDN’T LEAVE HOME LAST WEEKEND, PARALYZED BY MORE THAN 20 INCHES OF SNOW AND GALE-FORCE WINDS IN AN EXTRAORDINARY BLIZZARD.
It prompted me to cook a dish that was warm and fuzzy using ingredients I already had at home namely rice, chicken, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves and raisins. Voila, a one-pot-dish that will warm you up on chilly nights.
This dish is inspired by a recipe from my favorite food gurus at Ottolenghi. Here’s their version. I don’t feel the need for the extra garnish or the yogurt.
HERE’S MY TAKE:
- 2 ½ tbsp raisins
- 4 tbsp olive oil (plus you might need a bit extra)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 medium onions (about 2 cups), thinly sliced (you can also use pre-chopped onions)
- 2 ¼ pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (you can use anyother chicken part)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 cardamom pods
- Rounded 1/4 tsp whole cloves
- 2 long cinnamon sticks, broken in two
- 1 ½ cups basmati rice (if you add rice, you’ll need to increase cooking time)
- 3 cups boiling water (for every cup of rice, you need 2 cups of boiling water)
- 1 ½ tbsp flat-leaf coriander or cilantro, chopped to garnish
- 2 ½ tbsp pine nuts (optional)
*Don’t forget to scroll down for your Savory Sounds cooking soundtrack.
- Put about half a cup of boiling hot water in a bowl. Add the raisins and set aside.
- Heat half the olive oil and the butter in a large deep pan (that has a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned a deep golden brown. Transfer the onion to a bowl and set aside.
- Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and season with 1½ teaspoons each salt and black pepper. Add the remaining olive oil, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Use your hands to mix everything together well.
- Heat the same pan and place the chicken and spices in it. Sear chicken for on each side until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. The spices can stay in the pan, but don’t worry if they stick to the chicken. Drain most of the oil out (or dab it up with paper towels).
- Add the rice to the pan. Add he caramelized onion and raisins (and pine nuts, if you’re using them). Mix it all up.
- Return the seared chicken back to the pan. Mix well with the rice.
- Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan with a lid and cook over very low heat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, if the rice isn’t done, add a little more boiling and cook until the rice is done.
- Take the pan off the heat, remove the lid. Place a clean tea towel over the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
- Finally, sprinkle the coriander over the dish. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
I LOVE LOOKING FOR REMIXES OF CLASSIC TUNES. SO HERE ARE NEW RENDITIONS OF A FEW OF MY FAVORITE SONGS.
First is the remix of Banarama’s Cruel Summer. It’s an 80s classic that sounds current, even in its original state. But here’s a cool newer version.
I never thought Born To Be Wild could transition into a clubbing track, but thanks to Lazy Bear it can.
Finally, the Queen classic Another One Bites the Dust, re-jigged: