Chicken and Rice!

This dish is exactly what it says it is. It’s my younger son’s all time favourite meal. He was my original baby until my youngest daughter joined us when he turned 11 years old. As a child all he would eat was eggs or chicken. Literally, when I asked him what he would like to eat – he would say – ‘Boiled eggs or Chicken and Rice!!’

He’s not so small anymore – he’s a 6′ 3″ strapping lad with a son of his own, 29 years old this year and living his dream in Canada. He hasn’t given up the eggs though – now makes the most amazing scrambled eggs. I miss him so much – cannot wait until we are sitting around the table eating Chicken and Rice as a family again.

This dish is brilliant as it’s so easy to put together and you can have dinner on the table within the hour. A lot quicker if you have a Tadka already sitting in the fridge waiting to be used. (see my Tadka recipe).

Ingredientsserves 6 – prep time 15 mins – cooking time 40 mins

Rice

2 cups of rice – wash and soak in warm water

4 cups of boiled water (use the same cups you measured the rice with)

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

3 green cardamom

Chicken

3 large chicken fillets washed and cubed (don’t cut them too small)

1 tablespoon oil/ghee

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 medium onions finely diced

Garlic and ginger paste – 5 garlic cloves and 2 inch piece of ginger

1 teaspoon of turmeric

4 green chillies finely minced

400g tin of plum tomatoes – blended well

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garam masala

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, adding the cumin seeds once its warmed up
  2. Add the onions as soon as the cumin seeds start sizzling
  3. Fry the onions until they take on a golden colour
  4. Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir fry it quickly, add a little water to the pan if the mixture starts to stick to the base
  5. Stir in the turmeric and then add the tomatoes and chillies
  6. Cook the mixture until the tomatoes are completely cooked down, there is no water edge and the oil has come to the surface
  7. Add the chicken pieces – stirring them in to the mixture slowly ensuring they are completely covered
  8. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 20-25 minutes – stirring occasionally
  9. After 25 minutes add the garam masala, stir well, then add a pint of boiled water
  10. Cover and cook on a high heat for another 8-10 minutes

Rice

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and add the cumin seeds and bay leaves
  2. When the seeds start popping drain the rice and add to the pan, turn the heat low
  3. Add the salt and cardamom, stir carefully, do not be too heavy handed as you want to avoid breaking the grains
  4. Once the grains are covered in the oil mix add the water and turning the heat up bring to a rolling boil
  5. Then cover, turn the heat really low and leave it alone for minimum 15 minutes – do not stir
  6. Remove the lid and give it a light stir – your spices should have risen to the top and the rice should have soaked up all the water.
  7. Fluff the rice using a fork and serve with the chicken, papad and salad

Remember – the more you stir the rice – the more you aggravate the starch in it which leads to sticky riceshake the pan if you cannot resist

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