Rice and Chicken (Lebanese Way)

Arabs love this dish! If you have an Arab friend, make this dish when you invite them over; it will guarantee to make them smile 🙂 Every Arab country has their own variation of it and is generally cooked during special occasions. The combination of the rice cooked with chicken stock and the fried nuts spread on the top of the plate gives it a special flavor and texture in your mouth. Some people like it covered in gravy but personally, I like it with yogurt. Try it both ways, tell me which way you prefer 🙂

Ingredients: for boiling the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (about 1 kilo)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • few bay leaves
  • 1/2teaspoon whole cardamon
For cooking the rice:
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil

For the decoration:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • handful of each: halved almonds, pine seeds, pistachios, cashew
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with about 2 liters of water, place on fire and let it boil.
  • Skim the white foam. Then put the salt, cinnamon stick, clove, cardamon and seven spices and let it boil until tender (in pressure cooker it will take 15 minutes)
  • When boiled, drain the chicken from water (but keep the stock) and tear the chicken meat from the bones and keep aside
  • In another pot, heat the oil and fry the minced meat until brown, season with salt and seven spices
  • Add the rice and cover with 4 cups of chicken stock, cover the pot and let it simmer on a low fire until the rice is cooked
  • In a saucepan heat the butter and fry the nuts until nice golden, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning then place on a kitchen towel
  • To serve place the rice in a large plate, put the chicken pieces on the top, sprinkle with cinnamon then cover with the fried nuts
  • Enjoy eating with a side salad (and yogurt or gravy, whatever you prefer)

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT!

Meghli (Flavored Rice pudding)

Meghli is a kind of sweet traditionally prepared to celebrate a new born baby in the family. The word “Meghli” means boiled, probably named such because it is boiled for a very long time. It is said to be very good for the baby and mother especially during breast feeding as it supposedly promotes breast milk production. In some villages, they make it on Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It has a refreshing taste of cinnamon and with coconut added on top, is a perfect treat to cool you off in the summer heat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice powder
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground caraway
  • 2 cups sugar
  • for decoration: almond, pistachios, whole nut, shredded coconut, pine seeds and raisins

Preparation:

  • In a pot, mix the rice powder with cinnamon, caraway then the water. Mix and keep stirring until it boils
  • When it starts boiling, add the sugar and continue stirring until the mixture thickens
  • Pour in small individual bowls and allow to cool
  • Cover each bowl with cling film and place in the fridge
  • When serving, decorate each bowl with shredded coconut, bleached and halved almonds, whole nuts, pistachios, pine seeds and raisins (according to your preference; my son likes it with just some shredded coconut)

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT! HAVE A NICE WEEK END 🙂

Chicken With Spinach

I enjoy getting playful when cooking, more and more since I started this blog. I watch a lot of food shows on television and I  also read cooking magazines, so I’m always trying new recipes while adding a touch of me, mixing and matching with other recipes to make something that suits my taste. I won’t pretend to have created this meal, but I think that everyone makes food in their own way and this way is mine 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams chicken fillet
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500 grams fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 can of sliced mushrooms, washed and drained
  • 3 large green onions slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 handful finely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash of freshly ground nutmeg

Preparation:

  • Rub the chicken fillet with salt and black pepper
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the chicken until brown, cover with one cup of water and add the cinnamon stick; let it cook until tender
  • In another saucepan, melt the butter, fry the green onion for about 4 minutes then add the mushrooms and the spinach with a dash of salt; cover the saucepan and let it simmer on a very low flame for about 10 minutes
  • Prepare the sauce:  melt the butter in a small pot and add the flour, mixing it well
  • Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until it becomes thick and add salt, nutmeg and finally the finely chopped spinach

  • Serve together in a plate. You can add rice or pasta if you wish, remember to make it your way too 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT 🙂