Chicken Orzo Pilaf
Published by Hippocrene Books, Inc.
This recipe is a very flavorful skillet dish made with orzo instead of rice. Adding in a finish of mint and pine nuts gives it a rather Middle Eastern touch. This dish can be very easily made with brown or white rice, depending on your preference of grain.
Preparation Time10 min
Preparation Time - Text10 minutes plus at least 2 hours marinating time
Cooking Time45 min
Cooking Time - Text45
Total Timeunder 4 hours
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationSoy Free
Taste and TextureMeaty, Savory, Spiced
- ½ cup yogurt
- 2 tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 (2-inch) piece ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 green chilies
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken (I use thighs)
- 1/3 cup oil
- 3 onions, thinly sliced
- 2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks, broken into smaller pieces
- 2 or 3 green cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- 1 cup orzo
- 2½ cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- 1 tablespoon oil or butter
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
To marinate the chicken: Place the yogurt, tomatoes, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and green chilies in a blender and puree. Place the chicken in a bowl and toss with the marinade to coat. Set aside for at least 2 hours.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and turn a golden shade of brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and cloves.
Add the chicken with marinade and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 7 minutes, until the mixture is somewhat dry.
Stir in the orzo and broth and bring to a simmer and cook for about 6 minutes.
Stir in the saffron and turn off the heat. Cover and let this rest for 20 minutes (by now the mixture should be soft and pale brown).
For the finish: Heat the oil and stir in the almonds and pine nuts and cook until pale golden. Stir in the mint. Add to the pilaf and serve immediately.
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2014 Rinku Bhattacharya