Prep 20 mins
Cook 3 hrs
Afghani dish that took some time to make but was well worth it. The combination of cumin and cardamom was new and wonderful and the addition of carrots and raisins made the meal tasty and unique.
- Place chicken pieces, onions, salt and hot water in a 5-pt saucepan.
- Cover and simmer for about 2 hours.
- The chicken should be tender, yet firm.
- Remove and cool chicken, reserving stock.
- Remove meat from bones; use only large pieces for this dish.
- Cook rice in boiling salted water or cook in a rice cooker.
- When done cover until ready for use.
- To make stock sauce: Brown onions in hot butter and remove from heat.
- Add cardamom and cumin; mash with onion to form a paste.
- Add about 1 pt of the chicken stock; simmer for 5 minutes and taste for seasoning.
- Combine cooked rice, stock sauce and chicken; place in a buttered casserole; place carrots on top of mixture and sprinkle with raisins.
- Cover and cook for about 35 to 45 minutes in a very moderate oven (325°F).
- Add more stock or water if dish becomes too dry.
- When done, mix carrots and raisins lightly with chicken and rice.
- Stock not used in the main dish can be served as a soup course.
I haven't tried the recipe yet, but I noticed several things which are completely different from the way palau is traditionally made. First, the carrots, raisins, and spices are cooked along with the meat, not separately. This means the bones are included in the dish; they are not taken out. Second, palau is usually made with lamb and lamb's grease, not chicken and butter. Chicken palau is called murgh palau (but its also good!) Third, when you place the palau in the oven, you have to make sure that the palau is tightly covered because you're trying to steam the rice and infuse the flavors. Finally, you should never cook rice in a rice cooker because palau is a fried rice dish, and the rice won't achieve a nice texture if you cook it in a rice cooker. Always soak the rice in water for a couple of hours, drain, and boil in hot, salted water until the grains absorb the water, then pour the rice over the meat, mix it with the oil from the meat, and steam it. I know this sounds like a lot more work, but its worth the effort!
Very delicious outcome with the changes I made for DH, DD and I. I took into consideration chocaholiccuteyeh's review and my own knowledge about Afghani cooking. In addtion to the spices I used some freshly ground black pepper and a healthy pinch saffron crushed and soaked in a few tbs of the broth. I threw out the onions that were cooked in the water with the chicken to make the broth. I added sea salt to taste, not by amount following the recipe. I left the chicken with the bones in and jointed it after it was boiled then I fried it a little in butter for extra flavour. I also fried uncooked carrots matchstick shape in butter and added dark raisins to them at the very end of them being cooked. I boiled a large amount of water with sea salt and cooked the rice in it for exactly 8 minutes. Then drained and simmered down some of the broth with the sauce onions that didn't exactly become a paste. I layered the chicken, then rice and poured some of the broth with onion paste mixture on top as I saw fit. Then sprinkled the raisins and carrots over top and covered tightly with aluminum foil and put in 300F oven until done. I will definitely make this again.
Very very helpfull and nice. Thank you for your efforts.