Maklouba: Arabic Chicken and Rice with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

  • Cooking and Prep: 1 h
  • Serves: 8
  • Contains:

Maklouba is a traditional Arabic dish which literally translates as “upside down.” The meat, either chicken or lamb, is cooked together with the rice, giving it a depth of flavor. Pine nuts and cranberries give the dish extra texture and zest. Once cooked, the pot is flipped onto a large circular serving dish, allowing the bottom part of the rice – which is the most flavorful – to be enjoyed first, as well as allowing its flavor to be imparted to the rest of the rice; hence its name.

Ingredients (14)

Main ingredients

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Prepare the Maklouba

  1. Rinse and strain the basmati rice with cold water until the water is no longer clouded with starch.
  2. Cut the chicken along the joint in order to separate the leg from the thigh but leaving the skin on.
  3. Take a few tablespoons of olive oil and make a paste of all the spices except cinnamon and rub the chicken with them. Make sure there is enough seasoning to coat each piece of chicken well.
  4. In a wide circular pot, heat the rest of the olive oil on high heat. Sear both sides of the chicken until golden and place in a separate dish.
  5. Lower the fire to medium and add the pine nuts, dried cranberries, and cinnamon stirring it to prevent it from burning.
  6. Once the pine nuts are lightly browned add the basmati rice and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  7. Place the seared chicken back into the pot and mix.
  8. Pour the chicken stock into the pot and bring to a boil.
  9. Once boiling lower the heat to a simmer and taste to make sure that the seasoning is adequate, you can add either salt or chicken consommé to adjust.
  10. Cover the pot and cook on low for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the rice has absorbed the liquid.
  11. Flip the pot onto a large serving tray and garnish with chopped cilantro.
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