I've officially entered the slow-and-steady-(hopefully)-wins-the-race part of book-writing. It's the part where you have to keep your head down and your Internet usage at bay. Point being, these videos are a nice break. And this chicken and rice dish was fantastic. Make it soon! (And wear an apron!)
Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice adapted from Jerusalem
2 1/2 tbsp dried currants soaked in juice of 1 lemon OR 2 1/2 tbsp barberries (if you can find them!)
soaked in a simple syrup of 3 tablespoons sugar and 3 tablespoons water.
4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, or 1 whole chicken quartered (I used thighs and drumsticks, but think that sticking to just thighs would've been better. It was just more difficult to crisp up the skin on the drumsticks.)
10 cardamom pods
rounded 1/4 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in two
1 2/3 cup basmati rice
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/3 cup Greek yogurt, mixed with 2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
Prepare your dried currants or barberries. (If using dried currants, soak them in the juice of 1 lemon.) (If using barberries, make a simple syrup by dissolving 3 tablespoons of sugar in 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Turn heat off. Add barberries and let them soak.) Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan for which you have a lid over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned a deep golden brown. Transfer the onion t a smlal bowl and wipe the pan clean.
Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and black pepper. Add the remaining olive oil, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon and use your hands to mix everythin together well. Heat the frying pan again and place the chicken and spices in it. Sear for 5 minutes on each side and remove from the pan (this is important as it part-cooks the chicken). The spices can stay in the pan, but don't worry if they stick to the chicken.
At this point, I took a little break, turned the heat off the pan, and began boiling 2 1/4 cups of boiling water. While the heat's off, remove most of the remaining oil in the pan, leaving just a thin film at the bottom. Once your water is boiling, turn the heat back on the pan. Add the rice, caramelized onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of black pepper. Drain the currants or barberries and add them as well. Stir well and return the seared chicken to the pan, pushing it into the rice.
Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan, and cook for 30 minutes over as low of heat as you can while still keeping the rice at a simmer. Take the pan off the heat, remove the lid, quickly place a clean tea towel over the pan, and seal again with the lid. Leave the dish undisturbed for another 10 minutes. Finally, add the herbs and use a fork to stir them in and fluff up the rice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. (It probably does need it.) Serve hot or warm with yogurt.