Chicken Kabsa

This was Chris’ birthday dinner!  One weekend morning while we were watching TV he went to get ready to head out the shop.  He switched the channel to some food channel and there was this recipe being prepared.  It so enthralled him that he stood and watched the recipe being prepared.  Once the recipe was completed, he asked me if I could make that one day.  I decided that day would be his birthday… and he loved it!  This recipe is considered the national dish of Saudi Arabia, as per the website I found it on.

I will document my steps (and the few changes I made due to different versions of ingredients or whatever) and then provide the link to the original recipe! But first let me tell you a story about preparing the recipe 😦  I was browning the chicken… I had my frying pan on a potholder on the counter, switching out batches of chicken.  When I went to place the pan back on the element, I didn’t realize the potholder had stuck to the bottom of the pan… and yes, it did start to burn… and yes, it did smoke the whole house out with some nasty smelling smoke…. and finally, yes, I will have to spend today trying to clean all the crap off of my ceramic cooktop!!! Needless to say, I was not impressed!!



Here are my ingredients, and let me tell you, there were quite a few of them!!!

I started by browning the chicken pieces in the frying pan with some olive oil.


As they browned, I removed them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.


While the chicken was cooking, I chopped the onion and grated the carrot.


I added the onions, carrot, garlic, coriander, cumin and turmeric to the same pan the chicken was cooked in and cooked it over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  It was already starting to get very fragrant at this point!


Once this was cooked, I added the tomatoes, tomato paste, orange zest and juice, chicken broth, cardamom pods (pressed with a knife to open, cloves, cinnamon, and brought it to a simmer.


Because my frying pan wasn’t big enough to add the chicken to the above mixture I placed the pieces of chicken in a 9 x 13 baking pan and poured the mixture over top of the chicken and placed it in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

After that I removed the chicken to another parchment paper lined baking sheet and put it in the oven at 275 degrees to finish and then although it was not in the recipe, I switched the oven to low broil for about 5 minutes to crisp up the skin on the chicken some more.


While the chicken was cooking, I poured the liquid back into the frying pan and added the basmati rice.  I also had to add some regular rice to the pan to help absorb some of the liquid because apparently the basmati rice I picked was precooked lol!  It still worked out just fine.

While the chicken was cooking I also dealt with the raisins and almonds.  I put the almonds in the frying pan with about 3 tbsp. of olive oil.  I let this fry over medium high heat for about 3 minutes, until they were nice and browned and then added the raisins for about 1 minute until they puffed.  I then removed them to a bowl for later.

And then I brought the liquid back to a simmer and let it cook until the rice was fully cooked and most of the liquid was absorbed.


I made the sauce to serve with it by mixing together the yogurt, lemon rind and cayenne pepper.  The recipe called for the lemon juice as well but I found a lemon flavoured Greek yogurt at the grocery store and used that instead.

To serve it, I placed some of the rice on the plate, placed a few pieces (4) of the chicken on top, had a bit of the sauce in a small bowl and then sprinkled the almonds and raisins on top.

Chris said the chicken (and everything else) was delicious!!!


I found the recipe he watched on TV that morning here:


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