Eggplant Rice Pilaf with Hilbeh and Yoghurt | home | Impossible Pie

Morrocan Chicken and Red Lentil Pilaf

This is definitely one of my own creations, and a damn tasty one too.

Ingredients

Main:

* a few tspns of Ras al Hanout
* 2 Chicken Breast fillets cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
* 1 1/2 onions – finely chopped (5mm squares)
* 1 small yellow capsicum (bell pepper), seeded & finely chopped (5mm to 1cm squares)
* 1/4 of a preserved lemon, finely chopped (5mm squares)
* freshly ground Sea Salt
* 1 tin of whole tomatoes
* Olive oil

For the Lentils:

* 150 g red lentils
* 300 ml boiling water
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 tspn freshly ground sea salt
* 1/2 an onion, finely chopped (5mm squares)
* 1 Tblspn of Olive Oil

For the Rice:

* 1 1/2 cups of short grain (rissotto style, rice)
* 3 cloves of garlic (very finely chopped – or minced, /if you must/)
* 2 cups of chicken stock

Method

Main:

Coat the chicken pieces in Ras al Hanout, rubbing it in with your fingers well.
Heat some oil in an electric fry pan (or other reasonably large fry pan of your choice), and brown (well ok, it’s brown already, but you know what I mean) the chicken.
Remove the chicken and place in a bowl/container for later.
Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the onions and capsicum and lemon for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and stir through for about 2 minutes.
Add the tin of tomatoes (break them down with a spoon), and salt (not too much).
Cover and simmer.

Now prepare the lentils.

In a saucepan, boil the water (or boil it in a jug and add it to the pan as I did), add the salt, onions, cinnamon and bay leaf and oil.
Boil for about a minute.
Add the lentils, stir, reduce the heat to low simmer, cover and set your timer for 20 minutes. Do NOT lift the lid in this time.
While that’s doing its thing, you can prepare the rice.
Put the rice in a small bowl, and rinse well under running water for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. This is to remove as much rice starch as possible.
Once rinced, drain the rice (I just put my hand against the bowl to stop the rice falling out and tip the bowl on its side).
Mix in the garlic.
Set aside.
You should probably stir the mains now (and actually should have a couple of times prior to this point)
Once the lentils are done, discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf and tip the lentils into the mains. Stir in well.
Flatten out the main dish with a spoon and sprinkle evenly the rice over the top.
Carefully pour the chicken stock over a spoon over the mains.
Cover the pan and simmer again for 20 minutes (without lifting the lid).

You should use this time to prepare a fresh batch of Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce (I made a variant that used lime instead of lemon juice). You should also cut two loaves of turkish pide bread into 4 pieces each and then cut those pieces horizontally into two slices. Arrange the bread on a large plate.
When the timer goes off, you’re ready to serve.

Notes

Serve with Turkish Bread, Hilbeh, Red Harissa and Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce.

References

“Moorish – Flavours from Mecca to Marrakash”: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1876719982/vikingshomeip-20
Authors: Greg and Lucy Malouf
ISBN: 1-876719-98-2
Published: “Hardie Grant Books”:http://www.hardiegrant.com.au/ , 2001

posted to Moorish,Recipes @ 11:13 pm

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Eggplant Rice Pilaf with Hilbeh and Yoghurt | home | Impossible Pie