Friday, October 12, 2012

Chicken Palaw to Fill a Bare Table

"Beware the barrenness of a busy life."  When Socrates said this, I doubt he was talking about my dinner table, but he might as well have been.  When I get too busy with work or home projects or whatever fills my days, sometimes the dinner table takes on a barren, forlorn look, as though nothing of value will appear there -- a mere baked potato, pasta with sauce from a jar, or take-out.  I can only take so much of this, however, before I crave "real" food.

Recently I've been busy moving furniture, painting, patching, ripping out carpet, and more painting.  After a while, though, a girl needs a good meal to keep her going.  So the other day I got the urge for Chicken Palaw, a recipe I copied out of Country Living magazine many years ago.  (Maybe I was inspired to cook this by those viewings of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, who knows?) As you can tell from the name, it's Indian influenced, but not really authentic Indian fare.  Still, it's quite flavorful and a change of pace for a weeknight dinner.

Chicken Palaw

From Country Living magazine

1 1/4 cups basmati rice 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, cut in 1/8-inch julienne strips
2 whole boneless chicken breasts, cut in 2-inch chunks
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons pistachios
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

In heavy 5-quart stock pot, heat 2 quarts water to boiling over high heat.  Stir in rice and 1 teaspoon salt.  Return to boiling and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes.  Drain rice.

In same pan, melt butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat.  Spoon half of the rice into pan and press down with back of spoon to make a firm layer that covers the bottom of the pan.  Spoon remaining rice loosely on top, then top this with carrot strips.  Cover top of pan with linen towel and a tight lid.  Cook 35-40 minutes or until bottom layer forms a crisp, golden crust.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, sauté chicken in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until golden on all sides.  Add apple juice, spices, and ½ teaspoon salt.  Stir until chicken is coated with spices.  Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through and liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.

To serve, in large bowl, combine steamed part of rice/carrots with raisins and nuts and toss to blend.  Top with chicken mixture.  Break bottom rice crust into pieces and place around the edge.

The rice base before adding the chicken -- rice and carrots tossed with pistachios, slivered almonds, and raisins.


  1. Yummy! Clearly a recipe I need to make. This weekend I think. I like the idea of apple juice which makes a change from coconot milk.

    Have a peaceful weekend.


  2. Very unique recipe and it sounds delicious. Thank you for a good cool weather recipe. Have a good Friday afternoon.

  3. haha this post it's so funny! I see you have been very busy with projects. This looks like a perfect Fall dish, have a nice weekend!

  4. Gosh, both of those dishes look delicious! Makes me want want to cook.. well.. almost. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. I love basmati rice and this dish I will definately try! It looks great. :0)

  6. I hope you will post photos of your finished project. It sounds like you've been so busy. I love the look of this dish and it seems it would have so much flavour. What a great way to cook chicken xx

  7. I am with you on craving real food after a handful of grab and go meals. This sounds delicious and like a nice change of pace from the normal menus that many of us use each week.

  8. I know what you mean about having to cook a good meal once in a while. :o) This looks delicious and very healthy. I love a dish with rice!

  9. I love your blogs.
    saludos desde Chile

  10. It's Pilav, Pi-lav! *shudders*

    ;) But seriously now, this looks yummy even though I am a vegetarian!

    I love whenever my mother does traditional, bare pilav.
    You should try to add a table spoon full of Arpa Şehriye to it, tastes even better that way.

  11. Looks delicious! Hubby hates raisins, but that means all the more for me!

  12. This looks like a dish that would wake up the taste buds and satisfy the craving for good food. ----------- Shannon

  13. Looks tasty!!! I love rice!!! hehe..

  14. Wow,
    I am sure this must taste fabulous! I am going to try adding apple juice to my pilaf next time.

  15. Sounds like a yummy and flavorful dish. I think you and I like many of the same flavors. :-)


Thank you for leaving a comment.