A fragrant one-pot chicken and rice dish.
1 whole chicken cut into 8-10 pcs, pat dry with a paper towel
Black pepper, freshly ground
4 cups (1-1.5lt) cold water
2 sprigs rosemary
Vegetable oil or neutral oil
1 large garlic bulb finely minced, set aside 3 whole cloves
1 stalk of leek roughly chopped
2 large onions, 1 sliced & 1 roughly diced
1/4 cup (20ml) dark soy sauce
1 medium-sized knob of ginger finely minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 large tomatoes peeled, chopped/blended
2 1⁄2 tablespoons pilau masala
2 cups (400g) white basmati rice cleaned and drained
Place a wide-based casserole dish/pot on high heat.
Season chicken pieces generously with salt & crushed black pepper.
Add about 30ml (3-4 Tbsp) of oil. The casserole dish/pot should be very hot at this point.
Add the chicken, ensuring none of the pieces are on top of the other. Let the meat sear
until a golden brown colour is achieved on both sides.
Lower the heat to medium, add the roughly chopped onions, whole garlic cloves, leeks
and rosemary. Cook the vegetables for 2 minutes until they sweat (slightly translucent,
with moisture on them).
Cover the meat with cold water, add soy sauce. Bring this to a boil then lower heat to
medium-high to simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on.
Pick out the chicken and strain the chicken stock into a different container. Discard the
In the same pot, add 5-6 Tbsp oil and place over medium-high heat.
Add sliced onions and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring constantly to achieve an even brown
Add minced garlic and ginger and lower the heat, occasionally stirring for 2-3 minutes.
Add pilau masala and stir well. You may need to add a bit of oil as the spices tend to soak up all the moisture forming lumps. A bit of oil helps cook the spices well, fully extracting their flavour.
Add tomato paste and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add tomatoes and continue cooking
for 5 minutes. Season well with salt & pepper.
Add rice and stir gently followed by the chicken pieces and 3 1⁄2 cups chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, on high heat.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.
Lower the heat to medium once the water starts to evaporate. Cover the rice with a piece
of parchment/ wax paper to trap in as much steam as possible, then cover the pot with
Place the pot in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Loosen the rice with a fork or skewers and serve hot.
To make your own Pilau Masala, in a pestle and mortar or an electric spice ginger combine: 3 large Cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 3 tablespoon cardamom pods (deseeded), and ½ teaspoon black pepper corn