This month when I made my menu, I was tired of the same old, same old recipes. So off I went to the library to check out some new cookbooks. And I chose several recipes that I have never made before from them. This was the first "new" recipe I made and it turned out great, alhamdulilah. It is taken from The Food of Israel by Sherry Ansky. Tomorrow I will make my first attempt at kibbeh. I did modify this recipe a bit so I will give you my version, based on the recipe from the book. And this time I made sure to get some good pictures!
3 cups (720 g) rice
2 teaspoons of salt
4 lbs chicken or lamb (divided into pieces)
1/2 cup of olive oil
3-5 potatoes (peeled and sliced thick)
3-5 carrots (peeled and halved if necessary)
1 medium onion (cut into thick slices)
a handful of green onions chopped
1 cauliflower (divided into florets)
Herb Mixture (recipe called for saffron, but it is expensive so they had an alternative):
pinch of ground clove
1/2 tsp of black pepper, ground cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, and ground ginger, and turmeric (mainly for the color that it provides without the price of saffron)
Soak the rice in cold water for one hour, rinse, and drain.
In a dutch oven, heat half the oil and brown the chicken pieces (I used boneless skinless chicken breast for this first try, and in the future I am going to use bone-in chicken since the chicken did get a bit dry).
Remove the chicken to a bowl. In the pan with the browned bits and left oil, fry the herb mixture for just a minute or two until the flavors meld. To that add 6 cups of chicken broth. Bring it to a boil (while scraping the bits off the bottom, it adds good flavor), then add back in the browned chicken, along with any juice in the bowl, and lower the temperature to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. When the time is up remove the chicken to the bowl, and reserve the cooking liquid.
(it is a lot of liquid, make sure you have a large bowl or several small bowls :-)
In a separate frying pan heat the other half of the oil to med-high heat.
Fry the vegetables separately, first the potatoes, then the carrots, and last fry the onions (green and white) until they are soft and then add the cauliflower florets and fry the onions with the cauliflower.
Now for assembly! In the dutch oven that the chicken was cooked in, wipe it out with some clean napkins once it has cooled. Then coat the inside with butter, for me it took about a tablespoon to coat it nicely.
First layer the potatoes across the bottom of the pot. Next make a ring around the outside of the pot on top of the potatoes with the carrots.
Inside the ring of carrots place the cauliflower/ onion mixture.
On top of the veggies place the meat. Once that is all in the pot spread the rice evenly over all of it. And then pour all of the reserved broth over everything. Cover the pot.
Place the pot on high heat for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
To serve place a large (and it needs to be really big) serving platter over the top of the pot and in one quick motion (I had the hubby do this part) invert. Slowly lift the pot and ta-da!
Be very careful as you lift the pot, we didn't have a large round serving platter so we used the largest sheet pan we had. As we lifted the pot we moved it a bit from left to right to keep everything on the sheet. There will be leftovers unless you are serving a very large family. We reheated the next day by adding just a bit of chicken broth to keep things moist, but be careful not to add to much of it will turn the rice mixture to mush.