Shirl J said "I have leftover rice and chicken--what to do?" I remembered this Mollie Katzen recipe. I hadn't made it in a long time, but I made it again, and, with apologies to Ms. Katzen, added chicken. A really nice luncheon or supper dish.
- 3 cups uncooked basmati rice or 3 cups jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups chopped onions
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 lb fresh spinach, cleaned,stemmed and coarsely chopped (usually one bunch)
- 2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon, zest of
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1⁄2-2 cups cooked chicken, bones and skin removed,shredded
- 1⁄2 cup raisins (optional)
- butter, for the baking dish
- pine nuts or pomegranate seeds, to garnish (suggested by Mollie Katzen)
- Cook rice and allow it to cool slightly.
- While rice is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet.
- When oil is very hot, add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and turn heat to medium low.
- Stir and cook for about five minutes, then cover the pan and let the onion cook for 30 minutes longer.
- Stir in the spices and the garlic and cook for five more minutes.
- Turn the heat to high and add the spinach and another 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Stir fry until the liquid has evaporated--just a few moments.
- Remove from heat and mix in chicken and, if you are using them, the raisins.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Generously butter a two-quart lidded casserole (about 10" in diameter and 2" deep) and its lid.
- If you do not have a lidded casserole, you can cover your dish with buttered foil.
- Combine yogurt, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper and beat well.
- Add the rice and mix thoroughly.
- Firmly press half the rice into the buttered casserole.
- Lift the spinach mixture from the skillet with a slotted spoon and spread it over the rice.
- Next, top the spinach with the remaining rice, smoothing it firmly into place.
- Cover the casserole with its buttered lid or with foil, butter side down.
- Bake for 45 minutes in the center rack of the oven, then move to the bottom shelf and bake for ten more minutes.
- Remove from oven and let it rest for about ten minutes.
- Invert onto a platter and serve, cut in wedges.