Saleeq Dajaj

I first published this recipe a few years ago but I made a few updates and decided to re-post it. Running right behind kabsa saleeq is Saudis most popular dish. As you may have guessed it, dajaj means chicken in Arabic. My husband and son will not drink milk but yet they love this dish so I try to make it when I can. As you may have noticed Arabic cuisine incorporates a lot of dairy into recipes. You will find two versions of saleeq around, the lamb and the chicken. When making saleeq you want the extra juice in the dish so do not think you did it wrong! Saleeq should not be dry what so ever. You can easily double this recipe for larger families.

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces or 6 skinless, chicken breast
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 bay leaf
1 fresh cilantro sprig
1 onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed and soaked
2 tablespoons butter (optional)

1. In an 8-quart saucepan on high heat, add chicken pieces and enough water to cover chicken. Add cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamom, bay leaf, cilantro and onion. After full boil, reduce heat to low, cook covered for 45 minutes.

2. Remove cooked chicken from pan, sit aside. Pour half of chicken broth out (reserve for later usage) and reserve the other half in the same pan. Add salt and rice. Raise heat to high and allow a full boil, reduce heat to low, add milk and cover pot. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, shred chicken from bone.

3. Add chicken and cook on low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Place on serving dish and drizzle melted butter on top.

Yields: 3 servings

7 Responses to Saleeq Dajaj

  • This looks really delicious, and I bet the house smells wonderful while it’s cooking!

  • salaams
    Masha Allah, i cant remember when the last time i had this. yes, this is a saudi dish but more from the jeddah area. I’ve always wanted to make it but wasnt quite sure of the steps. I do have a couple of questions: i dont know about you but 1cup of rice wouldnt go very far in our house. is the ratio of milk to rice 1:1?. Also, if memory serves, I thought you were suppose to cook the rice al-dente first and then add the milk to finish cooking the rice? hope you will be able to help me out.
    jazak Allahu khair

  • Alaykum Salam UmmZacharia their are about 100 ways to make saleeq this is just my way. This way has never let me down and we love it so much mashAllah. If you have a large family double the recipe. Its just my husband son and I so most of my recipe are enough for 4 (dh eats for 2-3, lol).

    Some people use different rice even but this is what I keep on hand and its so delicious. Some people also pour melted butter over the top but I do not. Try this and tell me what you think, I am sure you all will like it..

  • I have made this dish repeatedly, jazakiAllah khair! I have seen other versions on the ‘net that really aren’t that great (usually they are spiceless) but this one is fabulous. Thank you!

  • Thank you I am so glad you like it :)

  • Made this yesterday and it was yummy! Btw sis, when I click on older posts it opens a new window for the next page. Last night I went through several pages so it got a little cluttered with it opening a new window every time. Just thought I would let you know in case it was a mistake!

  • Alhumdullah I am so glad you liked it. My son loves this meal its great for kids. I have had a few tell me they do not like this I will look into fixing it inshAllah when I get some time.

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