Monday, December 18, 2006

A Quick-ish Dinner

This dish was inspired by a dish that I've eaten at my middle eastern mother-in-law's house. It is a good way to make something out of nothing since just about any meat can be substituted and the add-ins can be as varied as you allow them to be. I've had this with pine nuts, raisins, lamb, beef, chicken, carrots, etc. It also makes a good side dish as well as main dish. Tonight I chose almonds, peas, and dried cranberries to go along with the chicken. It was a big winner with both my husband and my son.

Middle Eastern Inspired Rice

3 cups water
1 1/2 cups rice
1 TCP salt
2 TCP chicken bouillon
a dash of turmeric
2 TCP cinnamon
1-2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup (frozen)peas
3 T ghee(clarified butter) or butter
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil. Add rice, salt, bouillon, and turmeric. Cook rice according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of the ghee in a separate pan on medium-high. Add almonds and cook until lightly browned. Remove the almonds and set aside - leave remaining ghee in pan. Add 2 more tablespoons of ghee, chicken, and spices/seasonings. Cook until heated through and just browned. Lower heat and add the peas. Remove from heat just as peas are thawed out. Add the cranberries and half of the almonds. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Mix finished fluffed rice with chicken mixture and top with additional almonds. (A dusting of cinnamon is also common for this dish.)

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