Iraqi Shabbat Chicken

READY IN: 6hrs 10mins
Recipe by Janette1

My husband's family come from Iraq and when I was first married, my mother-in-law taught me how to make this delicious dish. It takes a long time to cook but it is not labour intensive - believe me the taste is worth the long wait for dinner!

Top Review by UmmBinat

A really good 4 1/2 stars. Like it says it takes time to cook but is very easy because you can just leave it alone most of the time. I think this recipe needs more explanation though especially for those of us who use the other form of measurements. Here is what I did. I used a 350F oven to cook the chicken at first and then turned it down to 300F while cooking the rice which I COVERED and kept checking until done (as the recipe states 1/2 hour might be too long or too short). I used one baby chicken. Approximately 2 cups canned tomatoes of a sauce consistency. 1 cup frozen baby okra, 1 1/2 cups white basmati rice, 1 1/2 onions, and a 1/2 tsp. Recipe #79179 , salt & pepper to taste, homemade chicken stock in replacement of the water. The liquid should generally be double the amount of rice including the tomato sauce used of which I used most of it for the okra and left just a little when cooking the rice. (ie. I used less than half) I dry roasted 1/4 cup pine nuts in a pan and added them to the rice when the chicken got placed on top for the last time. I sweetened the okra tomato sauce with a bit of brown sugar and added 1 Tbls tomato paste to make it richer. It turned out delicious. I think the first review is unfair because she preheated the oven wrong and left out an important ingredient. I will make this again.


  1. Chop onions and place in a large oven casserole dish adding tomato puree and about 1 litre of water.
  2. Place chicken on top of onions and put into a pre-heated oven at about 150C for about 3 1/2 hours.
  3. When cooked, remove chicken and place to one side.
  4. Take half the juices with the puree and onions and put into a saucepan. Add the okra, salt, pepper and lemon juice and bring to the boil, simmer gently for 30 minutes. If tinned okra is used, drain well before use.
  5. Wash Basmati rice throughly and add to the rest of the juices in the casserole dish, add some more water to just cover and place back into the oven to cook for a further 1 hour.
  6. When the rice is cooked, portion up the chicken and add to the top of the rice and cook for a further 1/2 hour.
  7. The rice is now a wonderful reddy/golden colour with the taste of the chicken infused.
  8. Serve altogether with the Okra sauce.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a