Chicken pilaf

Chef: Niall Murphy
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Chicken pilaf
A delicious dinner to feed a hungry crowd!

2 tbsp coconut oil

600g skinless, boneless chicken thighs or fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 onion, finely diced

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garam masala

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves

4 curry leaves

300g basmati rice

1 chicken stock cube dissolved in enough boiling water to make 700ml

230g frozen peas

80g flaked almonds

Chopped fresh coriander, to garnish

Chopped fresh mint, to garnish

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot with a snug lid on a medium heat. Add the chicken and fry for 2–3 minutes, until golden. You will need to do this in two batches so as not to crowd the pot and cause the chicken to boil. When cooked, move the chicken to a plate and keep warm by covering it with tinfoil. 

Add the onion, chilli, ginger and salt to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the spices and curry leaves and cook for a further minute to release the flavours. Add the rice and stir to coat, then return the chicken and all the juices on the plate to the pan. 

Add the stock and increase the heat to high to bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cover and cook for 12 minutes, until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Lift the lid after 2–3 minutes to make sure it’s just gently simmering, then cover with the lid again for the remainder of the cooking time. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the peas, then put the lid back on and leave to sit for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, to toast the flaked almonds, place a pan on a low heat and add the almonds, stirring every 15–20 seconds until they begin to take on a very light colour. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate to cool. 

Add the toasted almonds and fluff up the pilaf with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped fresh herbs.


Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cooking Time
30 minutes

Main ingredients
Chicken, Rice, Spice

Recipe Type
Dinner, Budget, Easy Recipes, Family Dinners, Healthy, Kids Food, Lunch Box, Quick Meals

Level of Difficulty

This is a wonderfully fragrant dish. The secret with this dish is to ensure that when the lid goes on the pot the pilaf barely simmers. It is a fine balance of heat and timing, because if the pilaf boils the liquid will evaporate before the rice is cooked, but if the heat is too low then the rice will overcook.

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