31/10/2014 06:31 GMT | Updated 30/12/2014 05:59 GMT

Chicken Pilaf With Pine Nuts and Pistachios


Fragrant with spices, studded with chunks of chicken and toasted pine nuts and scattered with pistachios, this rice dish only needs a crisp lemony salad as an accompaniment.

It's a good weekday supper dish, especially if you've got some cold chicken left over from a roast. If not, just poach, roast or fry some chicken pieces, take the meat off the bone in bite-sized chunks, and get stuck into the recipe.

Chicken Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Pistachios (serves 2)



15g butter + 1 tbspn olive oil

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick

5 cardamon pods, lightly crushed

1-2 tspn ras el hanout, to taste

200g basmati rice

250g cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 tspn saffron threads

450ml/1 pint good-quality chicken stock, preferably home-made

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 heaped tbsp pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped

Leaves from 1 x 30g bunch of parsley, roughly chopped



Put the saffron threads in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Leave to steep. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until they're coloured - don't let them catch - and set aside.

Melt the butter with the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Fry gently for around 10 minutes then stir in the garlic and spices (except for the saffron) and cook for a further three minutes.

Pour in the rice and stir well to coat in the buttery juices. Add the chicken, the stock and the saffron and its water and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the toasted pine nuts, put the lid back on and cook for another 2 minutes until the rice is tender but still has a slight bite. If it's still too soupy, remove the lid and cook off the liquid, stirring.

Stir through the chopped parsley, scatter with the chopped pistachios and serve.