Chicken Bukhari rice is one of my favorite Saudi recipes. The flavors of the rice, spices, carrots and chicken just mix so well together. I have found that it’s better to try to use certain spices when cooking Gulf recipes than to always take the easy way and just use your already mixed Arabic spice (baharat). While it does taste great and is something that I use in some of my dishes, it will also make all of your dishes taste the same way. Unfortunately that is a complaint I have with most food places here in Riyadh. They all use the same Arabic spice mix on all of their recipes and regardless of what they are they all end up tasting the exact same way.
If you use a good rice brand then you will not need to soak your rice usually but when not cooking it the traditional way I have found that it works on best in the end to soak the rice while you prepare and cook the rest of the meal. You can use a whole cut up chicken or whatever pieces that you may like as well. I just usually try to use chicken breast since they are healthier. If you want to try my vegetarian recipe of this dish check that out here.
1-1/2 cups basmati rice (soaked in water for 20 minutes and rinsed)
4-6 skinless and boneless chicken breast
2-1/4 cups water
1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 medium white onion, dice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tomato, diced
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (I used Maggi)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 shaiba leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large saute pan on medium heat add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes until onions are tender (but not golden). Add the chicken breast and then sprinkle cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric and shaiba leaves on top. Cook for a few minutes until chicken is slightly golden on outside.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cube and water. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce to low. Cook for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken breast and set aside. Add carrots, salt, pepper and rice, mix. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes, add chicken breast cover and cook another 5 minutes just to warm. Serve chicken bukhari with salata hara.
Yields: 3-4 servings