Have you ever been abroad for a long time? Did you notice how after a period you start yearning for the home-made food you grew up with? How the smell of anything remotely familiar gives way to a wave of nostalgia?
When I was 18, I lived abroad for some time. At that time other than my favorite Chocolate Cake and a few other sweets, I didn't know how to cook anything! And although at one point in my life I thought I could live on Chocolate Cake alone, it didn't work!!!!
One day, I felt I couldn't function without having a homemade, Arabic meal. I missed Middle Eastern and Arabic food with it's spices and special flavor. I missed the aroma that fills the house when you cook Arabic food. I was in despair, and no restaurant meal was satisfying enough!!! So I decided to cook Chicken with Vegetable Rice.
This was before the advance of mobile phones and the Internet, when international calls were way off the roof - eliminating any chance for calling my mother for detailed guidance. How difficult could it be I thought? You throw in the chicken, rice and vegetables and voila, your meal is ready! And that is exactly what I did. The outcome you ask? LOL... an inedible dish that even the alley cats didn't come close to!!! In all my ignorance, I didn't add salt let alone the various other spices and seasonings that are used in Middle Eastern food. I didn't precook the chicken ... in short didn't do most of the work.
This was my first attempt at cooking a main meal dish. As disastrous as it was, it didn't stop me from trying again and again until I nailed it! I hope you enjoy the finished product as much as I do.>
Chicken with Vegetable Rice Recipe
Preparation time: 25 min Cook time: 120 min
For preparing the chicken:
1 whole chicken (about 1.2 kg)
1 small cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion cut in half
1 whole carrot skin removed
1 teaspoon salt
For the dish:
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup oil
1 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup diced yellow and/or red pepper (about 1 small red pepper plus 1 small yellow pepper)
400 grams frozen green peas and diced carrots
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons full, mixed spices (Mixed Spices Recipe)
1 teaspoon full, ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth
How to make Chicken with Vegetable Rice
- Cut chicken from the middle and wash well. After that, I like to scrub the chicken with 1/2 a lemon, leave it for a few minutes then rinse.
- Place all the ingredients for preparing the chicken in a pan, add water to cover. Cook, covered, over medium heat until chicken is tender. Remove the chicken from the water and leave on a tray to cool. While still warm (easier to handle), remove all the skin and bones. As for the chicken broth, pass it through a sieve. Keep the 4 cups you need for this dish and store remaining amount in the fridge for later use. I usually cook 3-4 chicken, remove the skin and bones, divide them into separate meals and freeze. This cuts back preparation time for future meals.
- Heat the oil, add the onions and garlic and saute until it turns light yellow. Add the diced peppers, green peas and carrots and turn over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and all the spices and turn for another 3 minutes. This is important to infuse the spices into the rice.
- Mix the chicken in. Add the broth and salt, mix well. Cover and cook over medium to low heat.
- Serve with yogurt or mixed salad.
Hope you enjoyed today's easy recipe: Chicken with Vegetable Rice. Bon appetite!
Do you have any kitchen stories to share with us?
اضغط الرابط للحصول على وصفة الأرز مع الدجاج والخضار باللغة العربية