425. Iraqi Chicken with Red Rice

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It is the different ways simple and wholesome ingredients are used that really deserve praise for creativity.
If anyone, it is the Iraqi cuisine that does just that.This spectacular tasting dish is comprised of nothing more than a chicken, some rice, onion and tomato paste, and a couple of spices. But oh my, does the method really ump its value!
The chicken is first seared to a golden brown, then boiled in a tomato stock of sorts, in which the rice is eventually cooked in. Nawal Nasrallah in her amazing cookbook-encyclopedia Delights from the Garden of Eden, removes the cooked chicken from the stock, cooks the rice, then arranges the re-heated chicken over the rice. Me, for presentation purposes, I removed the cooked chicken and cooked the rice in the stock (just like she did), then I broiled the chicken to crisp up the skin before serving on the bed of rice. But you know, I think if you cooked the chicken and did not remove it, and just directly added the rice in the pot of stock and chicken, it would still be fantastic. Remember to remove seeds from the noomi to avoid a bitter taste.

Ingredients:

1 chicken (1.5kg), cut into 8 pieces
2 Tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
1 crushed noomi basra, seeds removed
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
2 tsp salt (total)
1/2 tsp pepper
5 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
2 cups rice

Method:

Dilute the tomato paste in 1.5 litres of hot water, set aside.
Sear chicken over medium-high heat to a golden brown on both sides, but still uncooked inside.
Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
Cook the onions until transparent in the same pot, then add the noomi, coriander seeds, 1 tsp salt, pepper, cardamom, and bay leaf.
Return the chicken to the pot, and cover with the diluted tomato paste.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover for one hour.
Strain the chicken from the cooking liquid and place in a baking dish.
Pour the cooking liquid in a beaker.
In the same pot the chicken was cooked in, add the rice, a teaspoon of salt, and enough of the cooking liquid to just cover the rice by a finger’s width.
Bring the rice to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cooked covered for 20 to 30 minutes.
Just before serving, re-heat the chicken in the oven and broil it to crisp up the skin.
Serve the rice in a platter topped with the chicken pieces.

 

صحة و عافية
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47 thoughts on “425. Iraqi Chicken with Red Rice”

  1. marhaba,,,made this today .//has been on my to try list for awhile….great dish..so warming and fragrant..kept the chicken in stock and threw rice right in..keep those fabulous iraqi dishes coming! Nadia

  2. marhaba,,,made this today .//has been on my to try list for awhile….great dish..so warming and fragrant..kept the chicken in stock and threw rice right in..keep those fabulous iraqi dishes coming! Nadia

  3. thank you. will do.. this was so delicious…bought a bag of the noomi so now will be looking for more dishes using this most unique spice..love the flavour it imparts…i heard some make tea with it too? Nadia

  4. thank you. will do.. this was so delicious…bought a bag of the noomi so now will be looking for more dishes using this most unique spice..love the flavour it imparts…i heard some make tea with it too? Nadia

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipe. I was married to a wonderful Iraqi man for many years but I never learned to cook like him. thanks to you I’m trying some of your dishes. Thanks.

  5. by special request from family i made this again as we all loved it so much..but when i was rectifying the salt to add the rice..i tasted a noticeable bitterness,,i went through the sieved spices and discovered the noomi seeds were the culprit..i bit on one and it was very very bitter..last time i guess the noomi didnt have seeds..has this ever happened to you with noomi?..now when i make this again i will crush and remove internal seeds.,..i didnt say anything to family but sadly everyone noticed it.. we still ate up but all a bit dismayed..nadia

  6. by special request from family i made this again as we all loved it so much..but when i was rectifying the salt to add the rice..i tasted a noticeable bitterness,,i went through the sieved spices and discovered the noomi seeds were the culprit..i bit on one and it was very very bitter..last time i guess the noomi didnt have seeds..has this ever happened to you with noomi?..now when i make this again i will crush and remove internal seeds.,..i didnt say anything to family but sadly everyone noticed it.. we still ate up but all a bit dismayed..nadia

  7. That's such a shame, I should have mentioned that the seeds are bitter! Some things we take for granted and forget other people may not have the same experience. I wrote the recipe for noomi basra tea and specified that the seeds are bitter and should be removed. I neglected to mention that here, sorry Nadia!

  8. That's such a shame, I should have mentioned that the seeds are bitter! Some things we take for granted and forget other people may not have the same experience. I wrote the recipe for noomi basra tea and specified that the seeds are bitter and should be removed. I neglected to mention that here, sorry Nadia!

  9. ok good….this spice I have tasted in dishes made by friends who have lived in Iraq and UAE but in the Levant its never/rarely used… so I have very little first hand experience with it.. .. do love it but those seeds are wow bitter…. even a rose has thorns they say!..live and learn right..

  10. ok good….this spice I have tasted in dishes made by friends who have lived in Iraq and UAE but in the Levant its never/rarely used… so I have very little first hand experience with it.. .. do love it but those seeds are wow bitter…. even a rose has thorns they say!..live and learn right..

  11. Alsalam alykum I went home today and I was starving. There was a half chicken defrost from yesterday. I was dizzy what to do with it but after I checked on Google iraqi red rice which I was fancy at the time . I said let me have a go with this beautiful dish. I made it and it turned delicious. Thank you very much .stomach is full 🙂 ♡♡♡

  12. Alsalam alykum I went home today and I was starving. There was a half chicken defrost from yesterday. I was dizzy what to do with it but after I checked on Google iraqi red rice which I was fancy at the time . I said let me have a go with this beautiful dish. I made it and it turned delicious. Thank you very much .stomach is full 🙂 ♡♡♡

  13. I have never actually cooked red rice; our Iraqi red rice is regular white rice made red using tomato paste. Your rice looks good, I wonder if it tastes different from regular rice.

  14. I have never actually cooked red rice; our Iraqi red rice is regular white rice made red using tomato paste. Your rice looks good, I wonder if it tastes different from regular rice.

  15. I've made this a few times now, i love it, but i was just wondering where you add the onions?
    Also, is there a way to make it more saucy, my other half likes saloona with his rice

  16. I've made this a few times now, i love it, but i was just wondering where you add the onions?
    Also, is there a way to make it more saucy, my other half likes saloona with his rice

  17. After browning the chicken, I remove it from the pot and set it aside. In the same pot the chicken was seared in, I saute the onion and the spices, before returning the chicken to the pot.
    If you want to make it more saucy, do not cook the rice in the sauce of the chicken. Rather, leave the chicken in its sauce, and cook the rice separately using fresh water or broth. That way you have the chicken saloona and rice.

  18. We make it this a lot for Friday night Shabbat meal, we actually don't use any of the spices but to prevent it from being too plain, we eat it with sides of umba (mango pickle), fried onions and raisins, salad and olives. It's one of our favourites

  19. I am a typical american girl who loves to try new food. Me and my husband are newlyweds and I tried this out one night. Soooo flavourful!! He was so impressed. I love the spices and he likes traditional american food but loved this. Its easily palatable even to the pickiest eaters. Shukran!!!!

  20. I am a typical american girl who loves to try new food. Me and my husband are newlyweds and I tried this out one night. Soooo flavourful!! He was so impressed. I love the spices and he likes traditional american food but loved this. Its easily palatable even to the pickiest eaters. Shukran!!!!

  21. this is so delicious…I know this is silly question but im new to the Middle Eastern kitchen..when I make this dish, three times now..my rice catches at bottom and scorches. the rest is delicious.im sure its from the tomato paste. does this always happen to you too?..any way to avoid this..shukran

  22. not sure if my comment posted…so im trying again…I am new the Middle eastern kitchen through marriage and find it amazing…this recipe is superb…but each time i make it( 3 times now)..my rice scorches on bottom . the rest is fine…I assume this is from the tomato in it as my other rich dishes dont do this..does this happen to you and any way to avoid it..shukran in advance..

  23. You are absolutely right, it does scorch and the reason is the tomato paste is concentrated in the natural tomato sugars carmelize and may easily burn. The solution may be to cook the tice on the lowest setting for 15-20 minutes until it is just cooked, or if unavoidable, we just have to throw out the burnt parts.
    Afwan and welcome back 🙂

  24. Is there a way to make this rice without the chicken? I know the chicken stock with the spices gives it the flavor but could you make it without the chicken and just drain out the spices?

  25. White Bread says ”Winner, Winner! Chicken Dinner!” Easy Peasy. Great results. Thanks for making this bit of white bread look like she is not a total novice in a kitchen. Lovely result! I sprinkled a dash of Sumac on the top of the chicken pieces before popping them in the oven for the re-heat… Because I just HAVE TO feel part of the process. HA! End result: “Habibi! Really, you should open a restaurant”. That’ll do!

    1. Indeed, that will do ?! Glad you enjoy making and eating Iraqi food, and thanks again for your generous comments.

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