Chicken Machboos

This recipe is a winner. I’ve modified it slightly so it’s somewhat less dry; otherwise the original is just as good. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken, 3 large breasts
  • Onions, 2 large, diced
  • Diced Tomatoes, 2 cans
  • Garlic, 5 cloves, sliced or minced
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, minced
  • Jalapeno, 1-2, diced
  • Cilantro, 3 tablespoons, chopped
  • Parsley, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Chicken stock, 4 cups
  • Basmati rice, 2 cups
  • Loomi, 2-3
  • Green cardamom, 5 pods
  • Cloves, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick, 1
  • Salt, 2½ teaspoons
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Baharat, 1 tablespoon
  • Rosewater for sprinkling
  • Ghee, 3 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Again, some of these ingredients may be hard to find. This is rosewater, and you can find it online, though you may also be able to find it at your local Asian market.

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Rose water.

These are loomi; again, they can be found online, or at your local spice merchant.

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Loomi

Finally, this is baharat, a spice mixture. If you’re so inclined, you can try making it yourself, but as you can see, I bought mine.

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Baharat.

First, do some frying: heat the oil, and brown the chicken on both sides, then remove.

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Browning.

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Golden.

Next, add the ghee to the oil that remains and fry the onions until they start to brown.

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Ghee, pre-melt.

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Onions, pre-brown.

You can use this time to prep the next ingredients – the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic. Then add them to the pot and saute for another 2-3 minutes.

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Three ingredients.

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Added to the pot.

Then add more stuff – the baharat and turmeric, to be exact – and cook for another minute or two.

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Spices added.

Now the chicken goes back in, along with a few other choice ingredients: the tomatoes, loomi, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and chicken stock. Make sure you perforate the loomi with innumerable holes before you plunk them in; a knife will do fine.

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More stuff goes in.

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And the chicken broth, too.

Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer, covered, for an hour or so. Meanwhile, you can prep the cilantro, parsley, and the rice. Make sure that you soak the rice in water for at least 20 minutes.

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Rice is nice.

When the pot is done simmering, you should simmer it some more – but this time, with the rice and the herbs added to the pot. Let it alone for another 20 minutes, so that the rice has time to soak up the liquid.

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Post-simmer AND pre-simmer.

Finally, sprinkle with the rosewater, which is optional but recommended. 1-2 tablespoons should be enough, but feel free to adjust to your own liking.

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Voila.

You can also shred the chicken if you want; it’ll probably end up that way anyway: it’s so tender it tends to fall apart. And it’s delicious. Highly recommended!

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