Kabsa is the main traditional dish of Saudi Arabia. While the ingredients may be long, this recipe is anything but hard. Each spice used in this recipe is a popular Middle Eastern spice so the combining spices make this dish about as authentic as you can get. If your in a rush you can substitute the spices for 1 tablespoon of Arabic Spice mix as well. I always cook chicken with the skin on as it gives your food a more natural chicken taste as well as fat. I personally do not eat it but I would suggest cooking with it on before you remove it. Every home has their own style, this is mine and I hope you enjoy.
And might I add this is the recipe that started it all and why I started my own cooking blog. My husband wanted kabsa which I had never made and all of the online versions were not right or difficult to follow. I wanted a site that had the food I like yet with easy to follow recipes.
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup of basmati rice, washed and rinsed
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tomato, diced
2 green chili's, stems removed and slit lengthwise
2 bay leaves
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
6 green cardamom pods, whole
2 cinnamon sticks
2 black limes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
4 boiled eggs (optional)
Pine nuts and raisins (optional)
NOTE: place basmati rice in bowl with water over it to expand, it will not cook and will stay hard unless you do this. Leave for 15 minutes at the least. UNLESS your using Uncle Bens.
1. In an 8-quart stockpot on medium-high heat add onions, garlic and. Allow onions to turn golden. Add bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black limes, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, ginger and ground cardamom. Blend well and allow to sauté for 30 seconds.
2. Add tomato sauce, tomato, chili's and chicken bouillon. Mix well until sauce thickens, reduce heat to low-medium. Add chicken allow to sauté for a 1 minute. Rotate chicken so that it gets all of the flavors. Add water until chicken is completely covered. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low. Cook for 35 minutes covered.
5. After the chicken has cooked reserve broth for rice. In a 2-quart saucepan, add rice and enough sauce from the chicken just so that the rice is covered. Bring to a boil then immediately turn heat to low and cook covered for eight to ten minutes. Meanwhile, why the rice is cooking turn oven on high broil. Add chicken to a roasting pan and broil for five minutes or until golden.
8. Add cooked rice to a serving platter with chicken arranged on top. Garnish plate with hard-boiled eggs, pine nuts, and raisins.
Yields: 4 servings