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Syrian Roast Chicken with Rice (Dajaaj al Riz)


In Syria, Jews maintained a hierarchy to their foods. Grains and vegetables were the most plentiful and inexpensive and would be found at every meal. Chicken was more limited and was rarely served during the weekday, but generally starred as the Friday night entree. Beef and other fowl were more expensive and reserved for special dishes or occasions. Lamb was generally served only for the most festive of events.   This and several similar recipes, using pasta or potatoes, were designed by Syrian Jews to slow cook for several hours, thereby providing a warm and flavorful dish for Friday night dinner. Today, these slow-cooked chicken dishes remain the heart of Syrian Friday night dinners.   More Hearty Chicken and Rice Recipes: Maklouba: Arabic Chicken and Rice with Cranberries and Pine Nuts Chicken and Rice with Leek and Swiss Chard Crispy Chicken and Rice with Sweet Potato and Lemon Slices


1. Cut the roasted chicken into eight to 10 pieces, or bone and shred the chicken.
2. Remove the wire rack from the roasting pan and stir the stock and spices into the pan juices. (If you want a less fatty dish but slightly less flavorful, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the pan juices.)
3. Add the rice, then bury the chicken in the rice.
4. Cover and bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit (175 degree Celsius) oven for about 30 minutes or in a 250 degree Fahrenheit (120 degree Celsius) oven for two to three hours.