Ha! Milk Street Magazine published these two flavor-packed dishes on the same page so I served them together. We ate the chicken and rice with roasted cauliflower. Delicious. 🙂
The avocado-cilantro sauce was amazing and would compliment any meat or chicken. It was inspired by a standard accompaniment to grilled meats in Venezuela called guasacaca. The recipe was adapted from Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Courtney Hill.
The rice was inspired by an everyday dish in Pakistan and India called jeera (or zeera) rice. The recipe was adapted from Made in India by Meera Sodha, via Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Dimitri Demopolous. The original recipe notes that it is ideal for pairing with any roasted or grilled vegetables or meat as well as with curries or dal.
To prepare these dishes together, I began by making the rice dish. While the rice cooked and rested, I prepared the chicken and the sauce.
For the Chicken & Avocado-Cilantro Sauce:
Yield: Serves 6
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 10) OR 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR breasts OR a combination, trimmed and patted dry
4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1 1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro OR flat-leaf parsley, plus extra chopped, to serve
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and seeded
1/2 medium white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 T white vinegar
optional garnish: Lime wedges OR crumbled queso fresco OR chopped pickled jalapeños OR a combination
Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle position and another rack in the highest position. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
On a foil or parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil, then season with salt and pepper. (Using foil is a better choice if broiling the skinless meat after roasting.)
If using skinless meat, arrange thighs “skin side down” and roast about 10 minutes. Flip over and roast an additional 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and adjust oven to the broil setting.
Place pan on the top rack and broil to finish browning the meat, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Meat should reach an internal temperature of 165. (Alternatively, if using skin-on, bone-in meat: Arrange skin side up and roast until the thickest part of the breast (if using) reaches about 160°F and the thickest part of the largest thigh (if using) reaches about 175°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.)
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the avocados, cilantro, jalapeño, onion, vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (I used a Vitamix which made the sauce incredibly creamy.)
Transfer the chicken to a platter and pour over any accumulated juices. (If serving with cumin rice, plate chicken over the rice and pour over any accumulated juices.)
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (or other optional garnishes listed above) and serve with the sauce.
For the Cumin Rice with Caramelized Onions:
Yield: Serves 6
3 T ghee OR salted butter, cut into 3 pieces, divided
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
chopped fresh cilantro, to serve, optional
In a large saucepan over medium-high, melt the ghee. (I used a 4-quart stainless steel pot.)
Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to start and more often once browning begins, until the onions are deeply caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes; reduce the heat if the onions brown very unevenly or too quickly.
Meanwhile, rinse the rice. Drain and set aside.
Add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods to the browned onions; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the rice, 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low, cover and cook without stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Using a fork, fluff the rice; remove and discard the cardamom. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If desired, serve sprinkled with cilantro.
I received a rice cooker for Christmas! I had to make some sort of chicken dish to serve with my perfectly cooked rice. 🙂
This comforting chicken curry was very thick and hearty. The recipe was adapted from Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha. I also included some of Sam Sifton’s adaptations from The New York Times.
The dollop of yogurt on top was essential. We also ate it with warm naan, roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 T unsalted butter or ghee
1 T neutral oil, like canola
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks, approximately 2 inches long
2 large white or yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 2 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled with a spoon and grated or minced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 green cayenne or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced (or 1 tsp chili powder)
kosher salt, to taste
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons strained or puréed tomatoes (I used Pomi)
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 T whole-milk yogurt, plus 1 cup to serve with the meal
2 to 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 T ground or slivered almonds
1 tsp garam masala
pinch ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 cups brown Basmati rice, rinsed and cooked per package directions
Melt the butter or ghee in the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, and when it is hot and shimmering, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks. Cook for a minute or two, stirring often, to intensify their flavors.
Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic and chilies into a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt; smash them together into a coarse paste. (You can also do this on a cutting board, with a knife.) (I had a bit of a struggle with this! May try the cutting board method next time.)
Add the paste to the onions, and cook gently for 2 minutes or so, then pour in the tomatoes, and stir. Allow to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Add the tomato paste, ground cumin, ground turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; stir to combine.
Add the yogurt slowly to the mixture, using a wooden spoon to whisk it into the sauce. It may be quite thick. When it begins to bubble, add the chicken.
Lower the heat, put the lid on the Dutch oven and allow the curry to cook gently for 30 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the almonds and the garam masala, along with a pinch of cayenne, and cook for 5 minutes more or so. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
Serve with basmati rice and/or naan, and the additional yogurt for topping at the table.
I have a couple more chicken and rice dishes to share. 🙂
This wonderful one-pot dish was included in The New York Times’ Best Recipes of 2022. I was surprised that I missed it when it was first published!
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Kay Chun. I modified the proportions. I cooked it in a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven. Although it cooked perfectly, I may use a shallow and wide pan next time to be able to serve it directly from the pan at the table. We ate it with roasted cauliflower on the side.
Flavorful and fabulous comfort food! Easy to prepare too. The hot sauce garnish balances the richness of the finished dish.
Yield: Serves 6
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each thigh cut into 2 equal-size pieces, patted dry
5 T neutral oil, such as safflower or canola, divided
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (or other short-grain white rice), rinsed until water runs clear
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup roasted cashews
4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
3 T coarsely chopped cilantro
hot sauce, for serving, optional
Heat oven to 375 degrees. (I set my oven to true convection.)
Rub chicken with 2 tablespoons of oil, and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Working in two batches, brown chicken, turning halfway, until no longer pink, around 5 minutes on the first side and an additional 3 minutes after flipping. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the ginger and the garlic to the empty pot, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add rinsed rice and stir until evenly coated in the oil.
Add stock, coconut milk, bell pepper, cashews, scallions and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir to lift up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. (I had a lot of browned bits!)
Arrange chicken on top, add any accumulated juices from the plate and bring to a boil over high.
Cover and bake until all of the liquid is absorbed, rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, 25 minutes.
Scatter cilantro over the chicken and rice, then divide among bowls. Serve with hot sauce, as desired.
Yes, it’s true… My husband and I could eat some sort of chicken and rice dish on a daily basis. This version was amazing!
This recipe was inspired by the rotisserie chicken from the now closed Uncle Boons in NYC where the chicken was roasted on rotating spits with heads of cabbage to catch all of the juices. The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Diana Yen. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of skin-on and bone-in.
I was able to incorporate my CSA cabbage in the dish- it was the impetus behind selecting the recipe. In this version, cabbage is used to line the skillet, allowing it to absorb all of the seasonings and pan drippings. I will definitely add this dish to my arsenal of favorite cabbage recipes to make in the future.
We ate the chicken and rice with roasted beets, kohlrabi, carrots, and fennel from my CSA share. I garnished the finished dish with CSA cilantro and served sautéed broccolini from my share on the side as well. A feast and a true celebration of my CSA box! 🙂
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 1″ piece ginger, peeled with a spoon, finely grated, plus 3 peeled slices, divided
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar or (packed) light brown sugar
4 T fish sauce
1 13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk, divided
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 medium head of green cabbage, stem trimmed, sliced into 1″-thick wedges
1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, plus more
1 cup white jasmine or Basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear
cilantro leaves with tender stems and lime wedges, for serving
Whisk lime zest and juice, grated ginger, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 T oil, 2 tsp pepper in a large bowl to combine.
Set 1/4 cup marinade aside for serving.
Place chicken in remaining marinade and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Generously brush cabbage wedges on both sides with oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange, a cut side down, in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.
Remove chicken from marinade and set, “skin side up,” on top of cabbage; season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 450° and continue to roast, rotating pan halfway through, until chicken thighs are browned and crispy, 7 to 10 minutes more, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
While the chicken is roasting, bring rinsed rice, ginger slices, remaining 1 cup coconut milk, remaining 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 15–20 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Fish out and discard ginger slices. Re-cover pan and let rice sit until ready to serve.
Arrange chicken on a platter; drizzle with reserved marinade and top with cilantro leaves. Serve with coconut rice and lime wedges for squeezing over. (I served the chicken on individual plates over the coconut rice.)
My mom and I absolutely love Greek avgolemono soup. Recently, I made this meatball version when she was visiting. Springtime in a bowl! Light, bright and fresh.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used homemade stock and modified the method.
Yield: Serves 4
1 pound ground chicken, ground turkey, or beef, very cold
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley, plus more for garnish, divided
1/2 cup grated yellow onion (from about 1 small onion)
1/4 cup grated carrot (from about 1 carrot)
1/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice, such as Basmati or Carolina, well rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, finely grated, pushed through a garlic press, or minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 cups chicken stock (I used 4 cups homemade turkey stock + 2 cups chicken stock)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
freshly grated nutmeg, for serving, optional
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, 1/4 cup dill, onion, carrot, rice, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Gently mix with your hands until well combined.
Gently form the mixture into 24 to 30 meatballs, each about 1 1/4 inches in diameter, placing them on a plate or baking pan. (I used a cookie scoop to evenly ration the meat mixture.)
Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. This helps the meatballs keep their shape while cooking.
In a large pot, bring stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and use a slotted spoon to carefully add meatballs to the pot. The broth should cover the tops of the meatballs by about 1/2 inch. If not, add a little water. Simmer gently, adjusting the heat so the broth doesn’t boil, until meatballs are cooked through and rice is tender, 25 to 35 minutes. (You can break open a meatball to test it.) Remove pot from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until just mixed. Slowly add a ladle of warm broth to egg-lemon mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in another two ladles of broth to temper the egg mixture.
Slowly drizzle the egg-lemon mixture back into the pot with the meatballs, stirring gently so you don’t break apart the meatballs.
Return the pot to medium-low heat until it just starts to simmer. (Wait for a bubble or two to appear, but don’t let the pot boil.) The broth should be silky.
Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/2 cup dill. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. (It may need quite a bit of salt if you are starting with unsalted broth.)
Garnish with nutmeg, if you like, and dill, and serve.
My father-in-law makes jambalaya year round. I always enjoy it! I typically make it once a year after finding a new version to try for our celebratory Mardi Gras meal.
I was drawn to this recipe because it utilizes a slow cooker- and mine is underutilized. I learned that I should stick with my typical cooking methods! I significantly extended the cooking time for the rice, probably because I didn’t use parboiled rice. Oops. It was a little bit of a struggle. In the end, the rice did absorb all of the wonderful flavors of the dish. It was worth the wait!
The recipe was adapted from food52.com, contributed by Kristina Vanni. I used kielbasa instead of andouille sausage, chicken thigh instead of chicken breast meat, and modified the method and proportions. I loved that this version incorporated chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
We ended the feast with our annual King Cake, a family favorite.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 T tomato paste
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 T Creole seasoning (I used Slap ya Mama)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (12 ounce) package andouille or kielbasa sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, preferably parboiled (I used Basmati)
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 21-25 count per pound)
sliced scallions, for garnish
Louisiana-style hot sauce, optional, for serving
In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened. (Alternatively, set the slow cooker to the sauté setting and complete these steps.)
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, fresh thyme, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to the slow cooker.
In the same pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced sausage and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the cubed chicken to the skillet and cook until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours. (I cooked the dish on high for 3 hours.)
If cooking on high and using long grain white rice that is not parboiled, add the rice to the pot after 1 1/2 hours. (I used Basmati rice and it took 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours on high to be fully cooked.)(If using parboiled rice, add it to the pot 20 to 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.)
Once the rice is tender, add the shrimp to the slow cooker, stir, and cook on high for 2 to 5 minutes more, stirring once or twice, until the shrimp are pink throughout and are fully cooked.
To serve, top with chopped scallions for garnish. Serve with Louisiana hot sauce for additional heat, as desired.
In Swahili, wali ya mboga translates to “rice and vegetables.” This upscale version incorporated chicken as well. This dish was similar to a biryani with layered rice with greens, caramelized onions, and yogurt-marinaded chicken in tomato curry sauce. To serve, each serving was also topped with pickled onions, called kachumbar, and salted creamy yogurt. Beyond full-flavored.
I must mention that I really browned my tomato paste during the cooking process. Recently, I have read about the importance of letting tomato paste darken for optimal flavor- apparently, I took this advice to heart! The sauce in my finished dish was much deeper in color than in the original recipe.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Zaynab Issa. I modified the proportions and method. I boiled the rice as instructed in the original recipe but struggled with the method- and wasn’t completely thrilled with the resulting texture. Next time, I would cook the rice using a traditional method or use a much larger pot to boil the rice.
Yield: 6 servings
For the Dish:
1 2/3 cups good-quality white basmati rice (such as Shahzada)
1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) (I used whole milk cream-top plain yogurt)
one 1″ piece ginger, scrubbed, finely grated (about 1 T)
8 large garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press, divided
2 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) (I used whole milk cream-top plain yogurt)
To Make the Dish:
Place rice in a medium bowl and pour in cold water to cover. Agitate rice with your hands until water is cloudy. Drain and repeat until water is almost clear (about 3 times). Pour in water to cover rice by 2″; soak at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
Stir yogurt, ginger, half of garlic, 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp turmeric in a medium bowl to combine. Season with pepper. Add chicken thighs, turning to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high. (I used a large enameled cast iron pot.)
Add onion and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is frizzled and deeply browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer onion to a plate and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in same skillet (still over medium to medium-high).
Working in batches if necessary, remove chicken from marinade and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the second side. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving oil behind.
Add tomato paste, coriander, cumin, chile powder, remaining half of garlic, remaining 1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp turmeric to skillet. Cook over medium to medium-high, stirring often, until tomato paste turns a shade darker in color, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, stir in 1 cup water, and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors come together and sauce has thickened, 10–12 minutes.
Return chicken to pan and stir to coat in sauce. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm. (I placed the pan in a warming drawer.)
Drain rice and cook in a very large pot of boiling generously salted water 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. (Alternatively, the rice can be cooked traditionally using a 1:2 ratio with boiling water. Cook, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes.)
Stir the Swiss chard, kale or spinach into the rice.
Continue to cook until rice is tender and greens are wilted and bright green, about 1 to 3 minutes more.
Drain in a colander and let sit 10 minutes to allow moisture to steam off.
To Assemble and To Serve:
While the rice rests, combine onion, lemon juice, chiles, tomatoes, and 1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/8 tsp Morton kosher salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to combine, breaking up the onion slices. Let kachumbar sit 5 minutes.
Stir yogurt and remaining salt in another small bowl.
To serve, fluff rice with a fork, making sure the greens are evenly distributed; transfer to a platter.
Scatter reserved caramelized onions over and arrange chicken on top. (Or for a more casual look, return rice to pot and gently stir in chicken and onion.)