This Chicken Pilau is my own fusion of Indian and Iranian cuisine comprising of Rice and chicken cooked in a broth with spices. All in one pot – yes I am down with this anytime! This makes for an easy and tasty meal that will have you wanting seconds! Great as a weekend lunch or dinner treat!
A little history :
Pilau (UK spelling) or Pilaf (US spelling) is usually a rice dish that involves cooking in stock or broth. Spices and other ingredients are added as well to make a flavourful and nutritious meal.
Pilau was most likely invented in India some time after the importation of Rice to the Indus River valley. It is believed that the earliest forms of our modern word “Pilaf” are the Indo Aryan words “Pula,” (meaning a dish of rice & meat) and / or “Pulāka” (from the Sanskrit meaning a lump of boiled rice).
How long does it take to cook the One-Pot Ginger Chicken Pilau?
It takes the chicken an hour to cook and an additional 25 minutes for the rice and a standing time of 10 minutes. I marinate or massage the chicken with the ready home made spice blend for just a couple minutes, and Voila! it’s ready to cook.
If you have the time, keep the marinated chicken in the fridge for a couple hours or even overnight. This gives for maximum flavour and tenderness.
Main Equipment :
Heavy Bottom Cast Iron Caserole
You will need a heavy bottom pan with a heavy lid, preferably a Cast Iron casserole with a Heavy Lid. If you do not have a heavy fitting lid, find a way to securely cover a deep cast iron with double layer of foil. We do not want the broth to bubble and spill over.
I used a shallow Cast iron pan and I did a spatchcock style to get the chicken flat enough to close the lid. Spatchcocking a chicken means to cut the chicken’s back lengthwise down the spine and then flattening it by pressing on the chest. With the bones faced down, the maximum flavour of the chicken will be released into the liquid. The released juices within the enclosure makes for an aromatic and flavourful Rice. As a result of cooking in it’s own fat and juices, you get a delicious and tender chicken.
Be very careful with handling your cast iron casserole as it is VERY heavy and even more so with food in it and is extremely hot. You need safe grip holders/thick oven gloves.
I use only organic ground spices and herbs and make my own blend. It’s a personal preference and I find them much more aromatic and most importantly, non GMO. You can access my home made pilau spice recipe here.
The cooked chicken is juicy and tender that it slides off the bones easily. As a result, my Basmati turned out moist and fluffy too. Comfort or Autumn food? I say both! Such a delicious one pot comfort food, easy yet nutritious. I made the spice blend long beforehand and stored it in jars just for a rainy day like this.
This Pilau goes well with any chicken rice sauce,curry or tomato gravy. I enjoy it though with just a mix of fresh red chillies and tomatoes blended with lemon juice and a little salt... Yumm!
Serve with a leafy salad alongside too. If you’re feeding children, add some vegetable in the pilau itself. I usually add 1 large diced carrot and 1 large deseeded pepper. The vegetables are added in at the time the rice is.
One-Pot Ginger Chicken Pilau
- Heavy Bottom caserole with heavy lid. Preferebly Cast Iron.
- Safe Grip holders or thick Oven Mits
- 1 Chicken medium
- 200 gm Basmati Rice
- 2 tbsp Pilau Spice Blend. half for the chicken marinade and half for the rice.
- 4 slices ginger.
- 2 slices fresh turmeric or 1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 4 pods Garlic crushed
- 600 ml Water
- some parsley or coriander leaves for garnishing.
- salt to taste pepper or more spices to your liking. (optional)
- ½ Lemon Rind