Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 4 tablespoons oil, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 (8 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1⁄2 cup barberries (tart sweet fruit; substitute currants or dried cranberries, soaked in hot water)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch saffron, diluted in 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1⁄4 cup toasted almond, for garnish
- 1⁄4 cup shelled pistachios, halved,for garnish
- salt and pepper
- Place the basmati rice in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the salt and enough hot water to cover.
- Let sit 1 hour.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onions, cook and stir until golden, about 7 minutes.
- Remove the onions and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add another 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter.
- Place the chicken pieces into the skillet, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Begin to brown the chicken on both sides.
- When the chicken starts to brown add the cinnamon and chicken broth.
- Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 35 minutes until the chicken is tender.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool and remove the skin and thigh bones.
- Reserve the cooked chicken broth.
- Drain the barberries and place in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of the reserved chicken stock and sugar.
- Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to slightly thicken.
- Add the saffron mixture and set aside.
- Fill a 5-quart saucepan, three-quarters-full with water.
- Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of the remaining salt and the drained basmati rice.
- Cook on high for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Drain the rice in a colander and rinse with cold water several times.
- Remove the bones from the cooked, cooled chicken.
- Set aside.
- In the same 5-quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter.
- Layer evenly one-third of the rice, one-third of the chicken, one-third of the barberry mixture, and 1 tablespoon of the cumin seeds.
- Repeat these layers until finished.
- Put 2 layers of paper towels over the top of the pot and cover.
- Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat and then 35 minutes on low heat.
- When finished, carefully remove the lid and paper towels, watching out for steam.
- Fluff and mix the rice and chicken mixture together.
- Add the remaining oil and butter and fluff well.
- To serve, spoon onto the center area of a serving plate, creating a peaked mound.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of the almonds and pistachios over the top and sides of the pilaf.