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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


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