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Afghani Zarda Palau
(Sweet Rice with Orange and Chicken)

1 tbs salt
2 cups washed long grain rice
2 Oranges
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup blanched almond slivers
1 kg (2.2 lb) chicken breasts
salt, pepper
1 medium onion
1/2 cup pistachios (optional)

Put 8 cups water + 1 tbs salt on to boil then add 2 cups washed
long grain rice boil 10 mins then drain and rinse. Meanwhile: Cut
rind of 2 oranges into thin strips. Boil in 1 cup water 5 mins.
drain, discard water. Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 2 cups hot water.
Add to rind and boil until slightly thick (~ 5 mins). Place rice
in large bowl, and pour hot syrup (reserving peel) over rice and
toss through.

In 1 tbs oil fry 1/2 cup blanched almond slivers until golden.
Remove and save almonds. If needed add a little more oil/ghee,
brown chicken breasts (cut into 3 inch chunks) on all sides. Remove
chicken, season and save. Add another tbs oil and fry 1 medium
sliced onion until soft, then add 1 cup water to lift pan juices.
Add 1 tsp allspice and then replace chicken. Simmer 20 mins.

In large well-oiled casserole dish, place 1/2 the rice. Then the
chicken pieces, then a layer of: 1/2 the almonds and the reserved
rind slivers. layer of: 1/2 the almonds and the reserved Spread
the remaining rice over the top and pour the liquid and onions from
the chicken evenly over the top, cover, bake in medium oven for 30

Arrange for serving in large high-walled serving dish as follows:
The top layer of rice around the edges - built up with a hole in
the centre to be filled by the lower layer of rice. The chicken
over the rice and the rind and both lots of almonds sprinkle over.
Optionally sprinkle pistachios (yummy!) over too.


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