Yogurt Chicken and Rice Recipe | Mediterranean Foods
- 3 tbsp-1½ oz (40g) butter
- 3 lb (1.5kg) chicken
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 fl oz – 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
- 2 eggs
- l6fl oz – 2 cups (475ml) natural yogurt
- 2—3 saffron strands, dissolved in 1tbsp (15ml) boiling water
- 1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon
- 1 lb – 2½ cups (450g) basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes
- 3oz (75g) zereshk (small dried berries) salt and ground black pepper
- #This rice is very unusual, but tastes absolutely superb.# Melt 1 oz-2 tbsp (25g) of the butter and fry the chicken and onion for 4-5 minutes until the onion is softened and the chicken browned.
- Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the stock reduced by half. Skin and bone the chicken. Cut the flesh into large pieces and place in a bowl. Reserve the stock.
- Beat the eggs and mix with the yogurt. Add the saffron water and cinnamon and season with more salt and black pepper. Pour over the chicken and leave to marinate for up to 2 hours.
- Drain the rice, then boil in salted water for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes until half-cooked. Drain and rinse in lukewarm water, then drain again.
- Transfer the chicken from the yogurt mixture to a dish and mix half the rice into the yogurt.
- Preheat the oven to l60°C/ 325°F/Gas 3 and grease a large 10cm/4in deep flameproof dish.
- Place the rice and yogurt mixture in the bottom of the dish, arrange the chicken pieces in a layer on top and then add the plain rice. Sprinkle with the zereshk.
- Mix the remaining butter with the chicken stock and pour over the rice. Cover tightly with foil and a lid. Cook in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
- Leave the dish to cool for a few minutes. Place on a cold, damp cloth (which will help lift the rice from the bottom of the dish), then run a knife around the edges of the dish. Place a large flat plate over the dish and turn out. You should have a rice “cake” which can be cut into wedges. Serve hot with a salad.