Afghani Chicken Kabuli Pulao (Chicken Pilaff) Recipe

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This is mouth watering Afghanistan's national dish.


Total Time: 2 hrs
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hrs 40 mins


Ingredients: 
  • 2 lbs chicken, cut up
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pints hot water
  • 1/4 lb white basmati rice
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • healthy pinch saffron, soaked in 1 tbs broth
  • 1 large carrot, cut into match sticks
  • 1/4 cup dark raisin
  • 1/8 cup chopped pistachios (optional, toasted in a dry frying pan)
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almond (optional, toasted in a dry frying pan)

Cooking Directions: 
  1. Place chicken pieces, onions and hot water in a large pot.
  2. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
  3. Add salt to taste.
  4. Remove chicken, reserving stock & discard cooked onions.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  6. Heat 2 tbs of the butter over medium high heat and fry chicken pieces containing bones, salting as needed.
  7. Boil a large amount of water with sea salt and cook the rice in it for exactly 8 minutes. Set aside in a pot until ready to assemble.
  8. Make stock sauce:
  9. Brown onions in butter and remove from heat.
  10. Add cardamom cumin, freshly ground black pepper & saffron liquid and mash with onion to form a paste.
  11. Add about 1/2 pt of the chicken stock; simmer for 5 minutes and taste for seasoning.
  12. Combine cooked rice, stock sauce as needed (I don't find it became a sauce so I added the onion paste with some broth as needed to finish cooking the rice) and chicken; place in a buttered casserole. Cover.
  13. Fry carrot matchsticks in 1/2 tbs butter and add dark raisins to them at the very end.
  14. Sprinkle partially cooked carrot matchsticks and raisins on top of chicken and rice and cover tightly with aluminum foil or cover.
  15. Place in oven for 35 minutes.
  16. Chopped toasted pistachios or slivered almonds may be added over the dish just before serving if so wished.
  17. There most probably will be left over stock that is very good even as a soup on it's own and probably served that way in an Afghani household.


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