Simple & Delicious Chicken Pilaf
Well it’s been a month since we began ‘self-isolating’ due to COVID-19 here in Australia, and although it’s been a tough time for many, we have also seen plenty of positive effects. Everyone seems to be baking and cooking more, there’s more interest in immune-boosting foods and fermenting and natural health and growing veggies in backyard gardens, people are realising how important it is to support our local farmers and producers, we are getting pretty good at “DIY everything”, we are getting to know our neighbours, we are remembering how good it feels to simplify and slow down, and we are spending more time focusing on what’s really important – hope, love, faith, family, community… At least that’s the case with a lot of people I talk to, and for me also. AND today there are only 6 new cases in all of Australia (not bad for 25 million people)! Wooo!!!
I’m still working a full day+ as usual (from home) and cooking a LOT of food for 6 adults (kind of 7 because my 20 yr old son eats as much as 2, ha ha!) – so I’m not lounging around in my PJs all day or binging on Netflix… but I still feel the pull to slow down and reduce the stress as much as possible. So I’m cutting down on work that can wait, making sure I get time out in the sunshine each day, keeping meals really simple, and making do with what I have as much as possible.
Need some simple cooking inspo?
If you’re feeling like you need some inspiration for everyday meals and snacks while the family is home and CONSTANTLY eating (right??), pop over to my Facebook page or Instagram and watch the daily cooking videos in my stories! You’ll also find lots of Quirky Kitchen Live videos in my Facebook videos and IGTV channel.
The other week I was digging through the fridge and freezer looking for a quick and easy option for dinner, and I found a container of frozen chicken stock, and some frozen poached chicken left over from making the stock. (I make short-cooked meat stocks like this, and use the meat in recipes as well as the stock. Delicious, and great for gut health!)
I decided to make a simple chicken pilaf using what I had on hand. It was a MAJOR hit in our family, and will be on regular rotation from now on! So here’s the recipe for you all to try, and a video of me making it. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Take care, everyone, and let’s hope we can all hang out in person again soon.
Simple & Delicious Chicken Pilaf
2 cups basmati rice
boiling water to cover
4 Tbsp ghee
1-2 onions, chopped
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp kibble/coarsely ground pepper
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups (approx) cooked chicken, shredded (leftover from making stock)
3/4 cup (approx) dried apricots or raisins, chopped (remove seeds from raisins if any)
3/4 cup (approx) flaked almonds
Place rice in a bowl/jug and pour over boiling water. Leave to soak for half an hour or so then begin recipe. (Or soak rice in room temp water for up to 24 hours.)
Heat ghee in large, heavy based pot, add onion, and sauté for 3 min, until softened.
Add spices, salt, pepper and bay leaf and sauté, stirring, for a couple of minutes.
Rinse rice and strain, then add to pan, stirring to coat with ghee and spices. Cook for 2-3 mins, stirring.
Add chicken stock, stir, bring to boil and simmer for 8-10 mins until holes appear in top of the rice, stirring now and then.
Turn heat down to very low, place lid on pot, and cook for 20 mins or until rice is soft and fluffy and all the stock is absorbed.
Meanwhile, toast flaked almonds in a dry skillet (no oil), stirring constantly over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Remove from pan to a bowl as soon as they’re done, so they don’t burn.
Once rice is cooked, remove lid to release the steam, then after 5 mins stir through the nuts (saving a small amount for garnish), dried fruit, and shredded chicken.
Serve into bowls (make sure everyone gets a bit of the crunchy rice from the bottom – best bit!!), and sprinkle with a few toasted, flaked almonds.