Photo by Faith Kramer

Layered chicken and rice plov

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“A plov (sometimes called plof) is a show-stopper rice dish full of subtle flavors and moist chicken. It somewhat resembles Persian, Middle Eastern and Indian pilafs, pilaus and biriyanis.”

This recipe is reprinted, with permission, from 52 Shabbats. Learn more about the cookbook here.

LAYERED CHICKEN AND RICE PLOV RECIPE

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Prep1 hr
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Yield8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white basmati rice
  • 1 ¾ tsp salt divided
  • ¾ tsp black pepper divided
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads crumbled
  • 3 ½ cups boiling water
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil plus more if needed
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • ½ pounds carrots cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground tumeric
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill or cilantro divided
  • ½ pounds green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or chard
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Instructions

  • Rinse the rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear. Drain.
  • In a large heatproof bowl, mix together the rice, 1 teaspoon of salt, the saffron, and boiling water. Let soak for at least 1 hour.
  • In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and black pepper.
  • In a 6-quart pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions
    and sauté until the onions begin to soften, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and sauté until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes, adding another drizzle of oil if the pot seems dry.
  • Stir in the cinnamon, turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and black pepper, and 1/4 cup of dill. Sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes.
  • Layer the green beans evenly over the chicken and vegetables. Layer the spinach over the green beans. Carefully pour the rice mixture with the water into the pot. Do not stir or mix in with the other ingredients.
  • Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (While the rice is cooking, open the lid as little as possible but check periodically to make sure the pot has not dried out. Add water, a little at a time, as needed.) Turn off the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Uncover, place a rimmed platter on top of the pot and carefully flip over the pot onto the platter. The plov should turn out with the vegetables and chicken on top. Use a spatula to smooth it back into shape if needed. Serve the plov on the platter, garnished with the remaining 1/4 cup of dill and drizzled with pomegranate molasses.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD: Make the plov in a Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the pot (or alternatively, transfer it to a large casserole or baking pan). Cover and refrigerate. To serve, sprinkle the top with a little water. Cover and reheat in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes (from room temperature), or until it’s warmed through. Invert the pot onto a serving platter and garnish as instructed above.
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