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LOCATION: Recipes >> Rice >> Zarda Palau (Sweet Rice with Orange and Chicken)

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An Afghani recipe from

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, but strongly recommended)

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 mins.

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.

Bob Morrell


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14 of 24 people found the following review helpful:
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Book Club, April 11, 2005 - 09:28 PM
Reviewer: Anonymous from Kittery ME
I took this dish to my book club as we had just finished reading Kite Runner which takes place in Afghanistan. It was a hit and several people asked me for the recipe.

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