Tavuk ve Domatesli Pilav
by Claudia Roden
from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon
Sauteed chicken kebabs are more tender and juicy than the grilled ones on skewers that are served in kebab houses. Accompany these with tomato pilaf and a quick cucumber-and-yogurt salad. The dark, wine-red spice called sumac lends a sharp lemony taste to the chicken.—Claudia Roden
For the tomato pilaf
1 1/2 cups basmati or long-grain rice
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
For the chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken pieces, breasts or thighs
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
For the garnish
1 lemon, quartered; or sumac
Make the pilaf
1. If using basmati, wash the rice by pouring cold water over it in a bowl, stir well, and leave to soak for a few minutes, then strain and rinse under cold water. If using a another long-grain rice, prepare according to package directions.
2. Quarter the tomatoes, remove the hard white bits near the stem end, then liquefy the tomatoes in the food processor. Measure the resulting tomato juice and add enough water to make it up to 2 2/3 cups. Pour it into a pan, add the crumbled stock cube, the sugar, and a little salt and pepper, and bring to the boil.
3. Add the rice and stir well. Simmer, covered, over low heat, for 18 to 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed. (Some brands that claim not to be parboiled or precooked now take as little as 8 to 10 minutes, so read the information on the package.) Do not stir during the cooking, but add a little extra water if it becomes too dry. Fold in the butter pieces. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Make the chicken
1. While the rice is cooking, cut the chicken into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet and saute the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned, adding salt and pepper, turning the pieces over once.
2. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley and serve with lemon quarters or with sumac to sprinkle over, accompanied by the rice.
Recipe © 2006 by Claudia Roden. All rights reserved.