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Source: Adapted and modified from The Young Families (a bi-monthly school magazine)
300g Basmathi rice or any long grain rice (washed, rinsed, soaked for ½ hour and drained)
150g chicken fillet/ breast (sliced)
70g black and golden raisins – refer note (1)
70g frozen green peas – refer note (2)
Julienned/ grated orange zest (1 medium size orange – only the orange part) – refer note (3)
100g/ 1 large red onion (chopped)
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
5 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick (break into 4 pieces)
Seasonings B (for pilaf):
Orange juice (from 1 medium size orange) plus extra water to make up to 2½ or 2⅓ cups liquid mixture
½ tsp tumeric powder
1-1½ tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Handful of toasted almond flakes (optional)
- Mix chicken slice with seasonings A in a small bowl. Cover with cling wrap and marinate in the fridge for half an hour.
- Heat some oil in the pan, sauté chicken until it turned slightly pale. Set aside.
- Heat some oil in the pan, and sauté onions, garlic, clove, cardarmon, cinnamon until onions turn translucent.
- Add rice and tumeric powder, and toss until the rice is fully coated. Add in chicken (in step 2), orange zest, salt and pepper, and toss again.
- Pour item (4) into rice cookert. Add in orange juice mixture and cook until the rice is done.
- When the rice is cooked, add raisins. Replace the lid, allowing the raisins to plump up in the steam. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- During serving, add in green peas and toss to mix well. Garnished with toasted sliced almonds.
- Raisins – put them in a plastic bag, pour water inside the bag and immediately pour it out. Leave the raisins inside the bag for 1-2 hours. This step is quite similar to how I condition my raisins for baking except that the time is shorter. I personally find that it helps to prevent the raisins from absorbing the moisture from the rice. This step is optional.
- Frozen green peas - thaw and blanch over boiling water for about 1 minute or until they are cooked. Immediately remove from the boiling water and plunge into an ice bath (a bowl full of ice and water). Immense the green peas in the ice bath until they are cool completely, then drain. This method is called “shocking” which will halt its cooking process completely and maintain the green hue of the green peas. Click on this link for further illustration. You can use this method for other vegetables as well. If you want to skip this step, add green peas into the rice 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Julienned orange zest – First, wash and scrub the fruit. Rinse and dry with a paper towel. You can use lemon zester or lemon grater for zesting the orange rind. I used a vegetable peeler. Carefully peel off a strip of the orange rind working from top to bottom. Only topmost layers (yellow part) are needed as the white part will give a bitter taste to the dish. Take one strip (or a few), flatten it on the cutting board. Slice (julienne) the peel into very thin strip as per photo in page 1.
- If you cook the rice using pot, follow step (1) – (4), then put all the ingredients into the pot, add in orange juice mixture. Cook under medium high heat and bring it to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Cook for another 15 minutes. Then follow by step (6) and (7).
- The ratio for rice and water for cooking long grain rice is 1 cup rice: 1¼ cup water. But since the rice is soaked and has absorbed some of the water, I’m going with 2:2⅓. Best to follow the ratio stated in your rice packaging.