Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chicken Kabsa كبسة دجاج

Kabsa is a Gulf/Saudi recipe, yet another variation of meat and rice, but it's pretty damn tasty. Wikipedia has an entry on it, for further background information.

The quantities were pretty approximate, so take them with a grain of salt.

Chicken pieces (I used two giant breasts, but I think it would be better to use a breast and a couple thighs)
Large Onion, cut into thin slices

5 or so garlic cloves
1 can pureed tomatoes
2 medium tomatoes
2 medium carrots, grated
Grated peel of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon, OR 2 black/dried lemons
2-4 whole cloves
2-3 whole cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground)
1-2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch saffron
Pinch cayenne pepper
Black peppercorns

3 c. liquid (water or broth)
1.5 c. rice (preferably basmati)

Raisins (option) and slivered almonds and/or pine nuts (optional, but much better with) for decoration.

1. Sautee the onions until they start to carmelize, then add chicken pieces and brown. Add tomatoes, cook for 1 minute.
2. Add 3 cups liquid, and all the spices and vegies. Cover and cook 30 minutes.
3. Remove chicken from the liquid. Roast rice briefly till some of the kernels turn a more opaque white. Add rice to liquid, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
4. Before the rice finishes, stick the chicken in the broiler until it crispifies a bit.
5. Soak the raisins in warm water a bit, and you can optionally fry them lightly. Put all the rice and chicken on a large plate, then sprinkle with raisins and nuts.
6. Serve with yogurt on the side to put on top if you like. American yogurt tends to be a bit too thick, so I recommend diluting it a bit with water.

The version in the picture below used tomato paste instead of canned, pureed tomatoes. In an ideal world, it would be best to use fresh tomatoes I think. Basically it should be a bit more yellow and less red than it turned out.

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