Chicken Pilaf is a perfect one-pot, low maintenance rice dinner, loaded with BBQ (rotisserie) chicken, coriander, almonds and spices.
What makes a pilaf?
A pilaf is a rice dish cooked with aromatics, spices and broth. It’s different from rice in that we cook all the elements together to infuse the rice with these flavours. Many different cultures have different versions of Pilaf, but the one we are making today is inspired by Middle Eastern flavours. It’s less gluggy than a risotto or paella, and the rice should be fluffy and steamed.
What is in our Chicken Pilaf?
To make this Chicken Pilaf we’ll use
- Chicken - I’m using BBQ (rotisserie) chicken and shredding it, which means we don’t need to cook the chicken (win!)
- Rice - Use Basmati rice or long grain white rice.
- Aromatics - Brown onion, ginger, garlic, butter, olive oil, ground cumin, ground coriander, basmati rice, chicken stock, salt and pepper
- Vegetables - Zucchini, red capsicum
- Toppings - Fresh coriander, almond flakes or slivered almonds
What makes this Chicken Pilaf so easy?
I've used a few tricks up my sleeve to make this recipe simple and easy. It's
- One-pot - everything goes in the one lidded casserole dish or deep frying pan, and you save on washing up.
- There’s only a little bit of chopping - just the onion, zucchini, capsicum and garlic.
- It’s set and forget - we leave the rice to cook and don’t touch it while it is.
- We use BBQ chicken - simply shred it with two forks to get it ready.
Here are a few tips to make sure your Chicken Pilaf comes out perfectly light and fluffy
To make sure your Chicken Pilaf comes out perfectly light and fluffy
- Do not lift the lid on the pot while the rice is cooking. Only lift the lid briefly to add the chicken, then return the lid to the pan.
- Give the rice at least 5 minutes after you’ve taken it off the heat, this will allow more liquid to be absorbed and steamed.
- Fluff the rice with your fork when it is time to serve.
- Do not use more liquid than specified in the recipe - this is very important. Too much liquid = gluggy rice.
I used a whole roast chicken for 4 serves, however this can stretch to six people, or if you want you can also use half a bird for 4.
- Alternative proteins - Instead of BBQ chicken you could flake some hot smoked salmon over the pilaf.
- Vegetarian - Swap the chicken for feta.
- Dairy Free - Swap the butter for olive oil.
- Gluten Free - This recipe is gluten free.
- To serve kids, serve chicken and rice separately.
- Skip the coriander and almonds.
You will need a deep, lidded frying pan, a stovetop, a small frying pan.
More Rice Recipes
If you like rice, you should try…
- Deep lidded frying pan
- Small frying pan
- 1 brown onion
- 3 cm ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 zucchini
- 1 red capsicum
- 2 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil 2.5 tablespoon total for the recipe
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 BBQ (rotisserie) chicken
- ½ bunch coriander
- ½ teaspoon olive oil 2.5 tablespoon total for the recipe
- ¼ cup slivered almonds or sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Dice onion. Peel and finely grate ginger and garlic. Cube zucchini and dice capsicum.1 brown onion, 3 cm ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 1 zucchini, 1 red capsicum
- Heat butter and oil in a deep lidded frying pan over medium heat, and add onion, ginger, garlic, cumin and ground coriander, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until onion is soft.1 brown onion, 3 cm ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoon salted butter, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Add rice, make sure all rice is coated in butter and oil, then add zucchini, capsicum, stock and salt and pepper. Stir and increase heat to bring to the boil, then once boiling reduce to a simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.1 zucchini, 1 red capsicum, 1 cup basmati rice, 1.5 cups chicken stock, Salt and pepper
- While the rice is cooking, remove flesh from chicken and shred the meat, discarding the skin and bones. Add some to your child’s plate now.1 BBQ (rotisserie) chicken
- Rinse and roughly chop coriander. Set aside.½ bunch coriander
- Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat and dry roast almonds for 1-2 minutes or until golden, then take off the heat.½ teaspoon olive oil, ¼ cup slivered almonds
- Once the 15 minutes is up remove the rice from the heat, add the chicken to the top of the rice, then replace the lid and stand until ready to serve (at least 5 minutes). The residual heat in the pan will warm the chicken and finish cooking the rice.1 BBQ (rotisserie) chicken
- Serve little kids plain pilaf with their chicken on the side. To serve adults, top with coriander and toasted almonds.½ bunch coriander