Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Cardamom Rice
This is an Israeli recipe, fraught with rich flavors of cardamoms, cloves, parsley and other herbs. This dish requires patience and caution, for like most Persian dishes, this one too has bold flavors that can either be mouth-wateringly delicious or mind-blowingly horrible. It all depends on how you go about the recipe.
Cooking time: an hour (approximately)
For the chicken and rice:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of barberries
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 thinly sliced onions
- Two and a quarter pounds of chicken thighs
- 10 green cardamom pods
- 4 cinnamon sticks, half the average size
- 1 2/3 cup of basmati rice
- 2 1/4 cups of boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon of whole cloves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves that are flat leaf
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
- 1/4 cup of cilantro leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
The first step is to prepare the barberries. For this you need to heat some sugar and water in a saucepan till the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the barberries to this solution and let it soak, while you go on about the other steps.
The next step is to prepare the onions. Take olive oil in a pan and heat it a little before adding the onions. Then cook the onions till they’ve turned a beautiful goldenish brown. Take care not to overcook them, for burnt onions never make a good dish. Once the onions are done keep them aside.
Now it’s time to flavor the chicken. Add salt, pepper, cardamom, olive oil, cloves, cinnamon and all the other herbs to the chicken and mix everything well. Then take it in a pot and put in the oven. Preheat the oven to medium and then cook the chicken, along with the spices, for around five minutes on both sides.
Take the chicken out of the pot. Then add the rice and cooked onions to it. Also add salt and pepper. Stir the rice so that it becomes well mixed with the flavored oil and leftover chicken fat. Now drain the barberries you had prepared in the first step and add it to the pot. Stir the mixture once again and then add the chicken.
Add water to the above mixture and continue cooking over low heat for half an hour. Then take it off the heat and remove the lid. Cover the open mouth of the pan with a towel and then close the lid again. Keep it aside for around ten minutes
Meanwhile, take the yoghurt and olive oil you kept aside for the sauce and stir them together.
Stir the mixture again so that the herbs are well blended and fluff the rice. Then transfer it to a bowl and serve with yoghurt sauce on top. You may add some more salt and pepper if you feel the need.