This is my mom’s go-to meal. Growing up, this was what she made on her days off. In Albanian, it is called pul me oriz, which translates to chicken and rice. This is my twist to her original recipe which I find to be a little bland, sorry mom. She boils the chicken and doesn’t use all the seasonings I use; she doesn’t add mushrooms or peppers either.
The thing with boiled chicken is that it has no flavour and it’s mushy. The good thing, though, is that you use the broth (which is flavourful) for the rice. My mom didn’t add anything except for paprika to the rice; she said there was enough salt in the broth….there never was.
As kids, I remember eating my mom’s chicken and rice with ketchup. My cousin, Ava, remembers that all to well. Ketchup always came to the rescue in our house. Boy have times changed; the only thing I eat ketchup with now a days are French fries.
What you will need:
- 1 whole chicken or chicken pieces such as thighs and legs
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 pkg mushrooms
- 1 red or yellow onion
- seasoning salt
- Montreal chicken spice
- garlic salt or powder
- herb salt such as Herbamare
- 2-3 fresh springs of thyme
Cut chicken pieces if not already cut. Season with some paprika, salt, seasoning salt, garlic salt, and Montreal chicken spice. Place in a deep large baking pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop onion, pepper, and mushrooms. In a pan, saute the onion and pepper until soft. Add in the mushrooms; cook until mushrooms are soft. Rinse rice and add to the onion mixture. Pan fry and add fresh thyme, half a teaspoon turmeric, some paprika, seasoning salt, a dash of garlic salt, and a half teaspoon of herb salt. Taste and adjust seasonings and add paprika until the colour of the rice is a nice rich colour.
Remove chicken from pan and transfer the rice mixture to the baking pan. Add the chicken on top of the rice. Pour over 2 and 1/2 cups water and add the juices from chicken to the rice as well; it comes up to just over half a cup of juice (close to 3/4 cup). If your chicken is dry and you don’t have any juice, then add water.
Cover with foil wrap and return to oven. Lower the heat to 325 and cook for another half an hour or so until rice is cooked. Remove foil wrap and allow to cook for an extra 5 minutes.
Serve with salad on the side, and enjoy!