SAUDI ARABIA: CABSA

Ingredients: For the Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Kabsa spice blend*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, as needed

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth (reserved from cooking the chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • Salt, to taste

For Garnish:

  • Slivered almonds, toasted
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions: For the Chicken:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, Kabsa spice blend, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, and salt. Cook for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Reserve the chicken broth for cooking the rice.

For the Rice:

  1. Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. In the same pot used for cooking the chicken, melt the ghee or butter over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and cardamom pods. Stir for a minute to release their aroma.
  3. Add the drained rice to the pot and stir to coat the rice with the ghee and spices.
  4. Pour in the reserved chicken broth (about 4 cups) and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and fluffy.

To Serve:

  1. Arrange the cooked rice on a large serving platter.
  2. Place the cooked chicken pieces on top of the rice.
  3. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds and chopped fresh cilantro or parsley.
  4. Serve Chicken Kabsa hot with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the dish.

Kabsa is often enjoyed with a side of fresh salad or pickles. It’s a delicious and satisfying dish that represents the flavors of Saudi Arabian cuisine.

Note: * Kabsa spice blend can be found in Middle Eastern or specialty stores. If unavailable, you can make your own by combining spices like ground black pepper, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground cloves, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground nutmeg, and ground turmeric.

Enjoy the flavorful experience of Saudi Arabian cuisine with this Chicken Kabsa recipe!

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