Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr
A very fruity version of rice pilaf that makes an excellent companion to the 16th century recipe for Persian Chicken. It should be started before the chicken, so they are ready at the same time.
- 16 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 6 peppercorns, cracked
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seed (best to buy pods and break them open)
- 4 juniper berries (mashed)
- 2 cups basmati rice (or other long grained rice)
- 3 tablespoons dried apricots
- 3 tablespoons dried cherries
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1⁄2 large onion
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pinches saffron (or one teaspoon turmeric)
- butter, for greasing
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Bring water and salt to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.
- Add cinnamon stick, cloves, cracked peppercorns, cardamom seeds, and juniper berries.
- Add two cups of basmati or other long-grain rice, slowly, so the water doesn't stop boiling. Cook for about eight to ten minutes, stirring from time to time to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom, until the rice is just barely done.
- Pour everything into a strainer or colander and let the rice drain. Leave the spices in the rice.
- While the rice is boiling, chop the dried fruit. Throw the fruit on top of the rice draining in the colander.
- Thinly slice one-half of a large onion and sauté it until golden in 5T of unsalted butter with several pinches of saffron or one teaspoon of turmeric.
- While onions are cooking, grease a round casserole with a bit of butter and turn the spiced rice and fruit into a large bowl.
- Turn the golden onions into the bowl and mix everything up.
- Spoon the mixture into the casserole and pat the rice firmly in place with the back of a spoon.
- Drizzle 3 Tbsp of melted butter over the top and cover with two thicknesses of aluminum foil and seal the edges well. Add a lid if your casserole has one. Set the casserole in a preheated 350°F oven and let it bake for an hour.
- Then remove it from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes or so before removing the foil and unmolding it onto a platter. (Lay the platter on top of the rice and, using a thick dishcloth or potholders, flip the thing over).
- Surround with the Persian chicken.
This is a nice rice, but I find that it is one dimensional. It needs another texture. Next time I make this I will add some pistachios...for crunch. It was flavorful and tasty. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Made for What's on the Menu? Tag Game 2015
I made this on a whim as a school day lunch for my very picky 3 year old. It did take some time, but mostly hands off. And I did cheat and roast it in the same pan as the meat I was making. It was very easy and holy cow delicious! He gobbled it up, as did my 11 month old. I didn't have dried cherries on hand, and used unsweetened cranberries instead. This will be made again and again and again. I may have to try the suggested chicken dish, too. Thank you!
Extremely tasty dish, I had it at my girlfriend's baby shower and wnt back for thirds!! The only thing I added to this particular recipe was about 2 tbsp of pomegrante seeds and 1 tbsp lemon juice. It cooked out perfect and I will be making this again and again.