A delicately spiced Persian Chicken Dish made with chicken, chicken stock, spices and almonds with a combined portion of rice.
4 chicken pieces
10 oz (275 g) long-grain rice
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
2 pods cardamom
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter
2 tablespoons (1 fl oz) olive oil
2 3/4 cups (21 fl oz) 600 ml chicken stock
1 pinch saffron - optional
a few chopped almonds
1. In a large, solid frying pan heat the oil and then the butter. Finely chop the garlic and fry until pale gold - do not let it burn.
2. Add the rice and turn it in the butter and oil until translucent. Add the bay leaves, the stick of cinnamon and the cardamom pods, and then add the chicken.
3. Fry the rice and chicken together for about 5 minutes until the chicken is pale gold. Then add the stock.
4. The trick of good rice is to have exactly double the quantity of liquid to rice by volume - that way the rice absorbs exactly the right amount of liquid.
5. Then add the saffron if you are using it, and a good pinch of salt. Stir the whole thing and let it cook very gently for about 20 minutes with a cover on.
6. The chicken cooks through in the stock. Its flavours are absorbed by the rice, the saffron turns it gold, and the garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom flavour and scent it like a spice market.
7. For the last 5 minutes take off the lid to make sure all the liquid is absorbed, and serve as it is on a large platter.
8. Traditionally, almonds are sprinkled over it.