Lebanese cuisine is known for its deliciously savoury dishes and this one is a worthy example. Try it – you’ll love it!
Course Main Dishes
Prep. Time 20 mins
Cooking Time 40 – 45 mins
Yields 4 to 6 servings
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup (250 mL) Milk
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
1 lb (450 g) chicken breast
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 large onion, minced
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
3/4 lb (335 g) ground lamb or ground beef
1 – 1/2 cups (375 mL) long grain rice
2 bay leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom
1 tsp (5 mL) ground Jamaican pepper
2/3 cup (160 mL) slivered almonds, toasted
3 tbsp (45 mL) pine nuts, toasted (optional)
In a pot, combine cinnamon stick, milk, chicken broth, chicken and seasonings. Bring to a full boil, reduce the heat and poach, uncovered, for 8 min. Remove from heat, cover and set aside 10 min at room temperature to finish cooking. Strain the chicken, reserving the cinnamon stick and the cooking liquid for later.
Meanwhile, in a pan, sweat the onion in butter for 5 min without browning. Add lamb and cook about 8 min, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon or a fork.
Add the rice, reserved cinnamon stick, bay leaves and spices. Add salt and pepper. Stir 2 min. Add 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) of the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a full boil, reduce heat and cook over very low heat for about 15 min.
While the rice is cooking, shred the chicken and reserve in a warm oven.
Arrange the rice on a serving platter. Top with the shredded chicken and sprinkle with the roasted almonds and pine nuts.
At the last minute, sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon. Serve with your favorite green vegetable.
You may use breasts or thighs or a combination of the two, so long as the meat is skinless and boneless.