Today I present my gluten free dinner. This recipe of persian spiced chicken with rice uses some of my favourite spices. A tiny pinch of saffron, cinnamon, cardamom and paprika. I learnt from my mother that cream and yoghurt based marinades give chicken an incredible tenderness.
Here I used some moulding rings (from Mermaid bakeware, who had kindly supplied me some items to test) helped to create a base of rice on which to then perch sliced pieces of the roasted chicken. The persian rice is cooked in such a way it forms a crust. I like to break this down and mix it into the rest of the rice as I have done here.
For those that are interested, the rest of my day consisted of more of the DS cereal and some gluten free bread that I talked about yesterday, but this time had a sandwich rather than salad.
I had some chocolate coated rice cakes as a snack but a really good cake is what I am missing, so perhaps a nice gluten free brownie or lemon, almond and polenta cake will need to baked tomorrow.
So how do you make this delicious persian chicken and rice?
Ingredients (for 4):
4 Skinless, boneless Chicken breasts
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups of water
2 Pinches of saffron
Half teaspoon each of cumin, cinnamon and paprika.
Quarter teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
Prepare the marinade by combining 100ml of yoghurt with 100ml cream, one pinch of saffron and all the spices. Add a touch of salt and pepper to season then place the chicken in a plastic container, coat well with the marinade, cover and place in the refridgerator for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to eat (about 30 minutes before)
Preheat oven to 200 Deg C
Place rice in a medium saucepan; add 1 tsp. salt and the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain rice, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.
Whilst the rice is cooking, place the chicken breasts into an ovenproof dish and roast for 30 mins or until cooked through completely.
Place remaining saffron and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid in a small bowl; let saffron soften for 5 minutes. Add the remaining yoghurt to this cooking liquid, mix well then add the partially cooked rice and stir to coat.
Melt butter in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat; coating the base of the pan with the butter. Add the rice, mounding slightly in center. Poke 6–7 holes in rice to allow steam to escape, then cover with foil.
Cook on medium heat, rotating the pan over the hob for even cooking, for 10 minutes (do not stir). Reduce heat to low; adding more of the reserved cooking liquid a tablespoon at a time until the rice is cooked and a golden brown crust forms on bottom of rice, 20–25 minutes.
Remove lid and foil; invert a plate over the pan. Using oven mitts, carefully invert rice onto plate; use a heatproof spatula to remove any crust remaining in pan.
To serve: Use a moulding ring to create a circle of rice by placing spoonfuls of rice into the ring and pressing down (the Mermaid ring has a special gadget that helps press things down).
Slice the chicken thinly and arrange sliced pieces of chicken on the rice, overlapping each other. If you start from the outside and work inwards it creates a pretty flower type arrangement as here.