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Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category


Chicken and Rice Biryani

This is a quick rice and chicken recipe. It’s like a biryani that I like to make on days when I am lazy and need to make something for lunch or dinner that won’t take much effort. It’s also one of those dishes that taste even better  the following days. So, be prepared for tasty leftovers. This is what you’ll need:

1) one small chicken cut into pieces –i.e cut into 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 4 breasts 2 wings etc. All with bone in. If you opt to use boneless chicken  you’ll be missing out on some flavor. I’ve made it both ways, and prefer this with bone in.

2) a cup of yogurt

3) two small grains mastic

4) 4 whole cardamon pods

5) a cinnamon bark

6) 4 whole peppercorns

7) 1/2 tsp of ground cumin

8) 1/2 tsp of ground coriander

9) 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

10) 1/8 tsp of ground black pepper

11) 1/8 tsp of turmeric

12) 1/8 tsp of curry powder

13) salt to taste

14 ) 2 pinches of saffron threads –once pinch soak in about 1/4 of a cup of water

15) 2 tablespoons of ghee

16) 2 tablespoons of olive oil

17) 2 cups of basmati rice –washed

18 ) 2 medium sized onions thinly sliced

19) 4 cloves of garlic finely minced

20) a green chilly pepper cut vertically –optional.

Alright let’s start. in a frying pan under medium heat add the ghee and oil and saute the onions until they are golden brown.  Then add the chicken and let cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and let cook for another couple of minutes. In the meantime add cumin, coriander, turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground black pepper, turmeric, curry powder to the yogurt and mix well. Then add the mixture to the chicken. Add a pinch of the saffron as well. Let cook for 3 minutes and then add 3/4 cup of water and cover and let cook under medium heat for another 10 minutes. In the meantime pre heat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and start to prepare the rice.

For the rice place a pot of hot water to boil. Salt the water and add the cinnamon bark, cardamon pods, peppercorns, and mastic and when it starts boiling add the rice. Let the rice cook under medium heat until it is almost cooked. So, it has a slight bite to it. Turn off the heat and run the rice through a sieve.

Now take an oven dish, or if your frying pan is deep enough and is oven safe take the cover off of the chicken mixture and later the rice on top of it. Then take the rice and form  a layer on top and drizzle the saffron soaks in water on top. Cover with foil and place in oven for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite salad and pickled lemons.  Bon Appetit !

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My husband Khaled cooks for me once a year. The very first time he made this Kabsah [it’s the only thing he really makes besides steak] I was blown away with its deliciousness. It is quick, easy and does not sacrifice taste.  When I am crunched for time, this is what I usually make. I asked him where he learnt this and he told at the Yemeni Bachelor pad he stayed in before we got married. He added, “We made it every day! Different person every day but the same recipe.” What makes it convenient is that you can use any spice mix for this, but Hawayej Shirkah [mixture of ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, pepper, and sometimes turmeric] is the one typically used by Yemenis for this one. I am sure before Yemeni brothers migrate from Yemen their mothers, sisters or wives send them with a big bag of this mixed spice.  But you can use any spice mix–Garam Masala or even Biryani mixes work equally well. They usually use one pot that they can start on the stove and then place in the oven.

You will need [serves 4] :

1) 1 chicken or 1 lb of lamb cut into medium pieces. If you are using lamb then boil it until it is well done.

2) 1 cup and a 1/2 of rice half boiled [which means boiled until almost done, but not quite]

3) 1 tsp and a 1/2 of the spice mix of your choice

4) 2 clovers of garlic roughly crushed

5) 1 tomato roughly chopped

6) 1 green chilly pepper roughly chopped

7) 1 tblsp  of cilantro roughly chopped

8) 2 medium potatoes quartered

9) yellow / orange rice coloring

10) medium onion roughly chopped into slices

11) 2-3 tbslp of oil

Alright let’s begin! In the pot, under medium high heat, add the onion slices and let brown a little. Then add the oil and potatoes. When the onion has browned, add the meat, garlic, spice, tomatoes, green chilly, and cilantro. Let cook for 5 minutes and then add 1 cup of water and let cook until the potato is almost done [but not quite]. Layer all the rice on top. Sprinkle a little of the food coloring and about 2 tbslp of water and place in oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s done. Serve hot with your favorite salad.

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I thought I’d wing it ! I don’t like the fried ones, so I baked them.  They turned out great. My husband was impressed.

I used:

1) 8 pieces of chicken wings, skin on.

2) 1/4 tsp of fresh black pepper

3) salt to taste

4) 1/4 tsp red chilly powder

5) 1 tbslp of extra virgin olive oil

6) 1/4 cup of lemon juice

7) 1/4 tsp of garlic power

7) your favorite Buffalo wing sauce –I used Franks 

I marinated the chicken wings in ingredients 2 through 6 for 4 hrs, or overnight [make sure you place in the refrigerator]. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the wings on a baking sheet and bake. Half an hour later, check on the wings. Water should accumulate–throw it all away and return to the oven to bake for another half an hour or more until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove them, and toss them hot in the buffalo wing sauce and serve hot.

For fries: 

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil. Add salt, fresh ground pepper, and oregano. Toss well. Place on baking sheet, and bake at 425 degrees F until golden brown and crispy. Serve hot.

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Simple Baked Chicken


This is something that you can whip up real fast when you are in the mood for something light, and don’t want to spend much time cooking. It’s an emergency food for me, without sacrificing taste.

You will need:

1) 1 Cornish hen quarter with skin on [or any regular whole chicken will do].

2) 2 medium sized potatoes peeled, and quartered lengthwise [into wedges]

3) 3 tbslp of extra Virgin Olive Oil

4) 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

5) 1/4 fresh ground pepper

6) salt to taste

7) ground chilly power  or pepper flakes [ or chilly paste] OPTIONAL but gives it a nice kick.

8) 1 small red or yellow onion thinly sliced [I used red]

Preheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a Pyrex place the chicken, onions, and potatoes. Add the rest  of the ingredient. Mix well.  Add 1 cup of water, from the side of the pan don’t disturb the spices that have clung to the chicken, onion and potatoes. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes until golden brown. There will be a wonderful broth at the bottom of the pan.

Serve with bread. Enjoy!

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Chicken in Lime Sauce


This is a one pot dish. You will need:

1) A cornish hen [any small chicken will do]. Split into two pieces, and leave skin on for flavor.

2) Half a lime or lemon, cut into round thin slices.

3) 3 cloves of garlic cut into thin slices

4) Green chilly pepper [optional] cut lengthwise

5) 1 medium onion cut into thin slices

6) 2 tblsp of cilantro finely chopped

7)  1 tsp ground cumin

8 ) 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

9) 1/4 tsp tumeric

10) 1/4 tsp red pepper [paprika if you don’t like spicy food, and cayenne is you like it spicy (you can of course adjust to taste)]

11) Salt to taste

12) 1/4 cup of Olive Oil

14) 1 medium tomato, peeled, and cubed.

Place all ingredients in a pot. Mix well. Cover and leave on medium heat for one hour and a half. Enjoy with fresh baked French Bread.

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Yemeni restaurants around the world are known for their Haneed–chicken and meat. Usually this is made in a tanoor [clay oven filled with hot coals], but you can make it at home with the help of a pressure cooker and an oven.

You will need:

1)  one whole chicken, cut into four equal pieces. Skin removed.

2) 1/2 cup of olive oil

3) 1 tblsp of cumin

4) 1tblsp of coriander

5) 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

6) 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper

7) 1/2 tsp of tumeric

8 ) 1/4 tsp of ground cardamon

9) salt to taste

10) 3 cloves of garlic, minced.

In a pressure cooker, on medium heat, add the chicken pieces, garlic, and all the spices. Mix well with spoon. Add a cup of water, and close pressure cooker and leave on medium low heat for 45 min to 1 hour. Remove chicken, and place in an oven dish [covered with foil] and place under the broiler until well browned from the top. Serve with rice, or fries.

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I made another Mandee today, but this time with chicken. We’re just two people as I mentioned, and since I cook everyday I only make what we eat on a particular day. I don’t like having any leftovers, so my quantities are measured. So, you can double, triple or quadruple according to the number of members in your family. I usually measure 1/2 cup of rice per person, if you are not serving anything else. Otherwise it is 1/4 cup of rice per person.

For two servings you will need the following:

1) Half of a whole chicken–literally cut in half and leave the skin on. Or you can use a whole Cornish hen.
2) One cup of rice, washed
3) 2 dried lemons (available at the Middle Eastern stores)
4) one whole green hot pepper–you can slice it through the middle
5) 2 tsp of ground cumin
6) 2 tsp of ground coriander
7) salt to taste
8) 1/2 tsp of black pepper
9) 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
10) a couple of pepper corns
11) a cinnamon stick
12) a couple of cardamon pods
13) 1/2 tsp of tumeric
14) 4 tblsp of Olive Oil
15) a medium onion finely chopped

Marinate the chicken–it turns out better if you do it the day before–but you can also marinate it on the same day. Use half of the oilive oil, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and cinnamon powder. All of the tumeric. Add salt. Cover every nook and cranny of the chicken with this mixture.

Place a pot on medium heat, and add half of the oil, onions and half of the cumin and enough salt for the rice. When the onions starts to turn a golden brown add the green hot pepper, dried lemons, rice, half of the coriander, black pepper, cinnamon powder, cardoamon,cinnamon stick, and pepper corns. Mix well and let the spice mix with the rice by stirring for about 2 minutes.

Add hot water (2 cups) to the rice. Take a piece of foil and fold once and cover the mouth of the pot tightly. With a fork pierce the foil randomly. Place the spiced chicken on the pierced foil. Then take another piece of foil and cover the chicken. Make sure you cover it well so no steam escapes. Leave on very very very low heat–one you can hardly see– for about 45 min-1 hr.

After half an hour take the foil off and place the chicken under the broiler to brown, and finish cooking if it hasn’t already.

To serve, place the rice on a platter and arrange the chicken on top. Serve hot. Goes well with a green salad.

More pics of the dish: 

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