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Cook1 hr 20 mins
Many centuries ago, traders from Indonesia brought exotic spices to Thailand such as saffron, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In Thailand, such culinary riches were still new and terribly expensive. Thais gave this special chicken and rice recipe its name based on the rulers of Sumatra, who were sultans and could afford such luxuries.
- 4 chicken drumsticks or 1⁄2 whole chicken, chopped into pieces
- 2 cups rice
- 3 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon saffron thread
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 small sweet bell pepper, cut into thin strips (red or yellow)
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- wedges fresh lemon or lime (to garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Measure out 1 cup of chicken stock. Add the turmeric and saffron, stirring with a fork to dissolve the turmeric. Place chicken in a casserole dish, and pour this flavored stock over the chicken.
- Cover and set in the oven to bake 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is nearly cooked. Turn the chicken pieces in the stock, ensuring all sides are permeated with the bright saffron color/flavor.
- Drain off the saffron-flavored stock ino a glass measuring cup (You will use this to cook the rice). Cover the casserole dish to keep chicken hot.
- To the stock, add the cayenne pepper, lemon juice, 3 tbsp fish sauce, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir well.
- Add more chicken stock until you have a total of 3 1/2 cups. Pour this over the chicken in the casserole dish.
- Add the rice and vegetables, stirring everything together. Cover and set in the oven to bake until rice is cooked (45 minute to 1 hour).
- Taste-test the rice (it should taste flavorful, spicy, and slightly tangy from the lemon juice). Add more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough.
- To serve, portion out generous amounts of rice, chicken, and vegetables onto serving plates or bowls. Finish each serving with a sprinkling of fresh coriander/basil and spring onion, plus wedges of fresh lemon or lime, if desired.