Food Editor's Note: This is a delicious dish that is perfect for a Purim dinner or any time a simple, but different, meal is called for. Just add a salad and you have a complete main course. Use homemade chicken broth for the best results. This is a variation of a recipe that I came across through one of the many Jewish email lists that I am on. It was attributed to Sam Rasheed.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in 1/2-inch pieces.
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch cardamom
1 large onion, chopped
6-ounce package rice pilaf mix [I use Near East brand, original flavor]
2 cups homemade chicken broth or reduced-sodium canned broth
1/2 cup dried apricots
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted till fragrant
Combine the paprika, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl. Toss the chicken with the spices. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rice pilaf mix (rice and herbs), chicken broth, apricots, and orange zest. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken. Cover and continue to simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the almonds and serve.
Yield: 6 servings
Persian Rice Pilaf with Chicken