This has been one of my favorite childhood recipes that I’ve adjusted a little bit. The original dish contained only rice and raisins and was served as a side dish. It works great as a side, but I’ve added protein and a few vegetables so that it can be an entire meal on it’s own. This is a gluten and dairy free meal that has a refreshing mediterranean flavour and is wide open for variations.
Pilaf can be made with either beef or chicken stock and just about any protein. Most of the in-store brands of stock contain wheat products but I found that Knorr concentrated stock pots do not contain gluten, and they work wonderfully for this recipe.
A rice cooker comes in really handy for this dish. Begin by making three cups of brown or long grain rice and add a few tablespoons of olive oil and a pot of chicken or beef stock partway through the cooking process.
I use mushrooms in a lot of my cooking. They take on the flavour of whatever I’m making, and they add great texture when done right. Chop up the mushrooms and sauté them in a bit of oil over medium high heat. Don’t cook them until they are completely shriveled and tiny, just make sure each piece gets soft, and their colour has darkened a bit. Remove from heat and set aside.
While the rice is cooking, put some oil in a pan and cook your protein. Keep in mind that if you are using chicken thighs, they are usually rolled up in the packaging from the store, so open them up and lay them flat in the pan. Thighs don’t dry out nearly as fast as chicken breasts, but keep an eye on them and take them off the heat as soon as they are fully cooked. After you’ve removed them from the heat, chop them up against the grain and season with black pepper. The recipe calls for soy sauce later on, so I don’t recommend seasoning the chicken with salt at this point.
The texture of Mediterranean pilaf is soft, so I like to chop up some crisp green onions as a garnish for this dish. The onion offers a bright colour contrast, a bit of crispiness, and wonderful flavour. You could also garnish with pine nuts or chopped peanuts if you prefer some more crunch.
When the rice is done cooking, make sure the stock is mixed evenly throughout and combine the rice with the chicken, raisins and cooked vegetables. I mix these ingredients all together right in the rice cooker which keeps everything warm until it is served.
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
1 Knorr concentrated stock pot
4 Tbs olive oil plus extra to sauté
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp currie powder
1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 cups raisins
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked
1 cup beef, shredded, cooked
Note: depending on what kind of rice you use, you may have to adjust the amount of water and rice you use. Read the packaging and adjust to have three cups of cooked rice.
1. Cook the rice, water, chicken or beef stock and olive oil in a rice cooker or saucepan.
2. Sauté the mushrooms in a few tablespoons of oil until they are soft and have darkened slightly in colour.
3. Cut the cooked chicken or beef against the grain in small, bite-sized pieces.
4. When the rice is cooked, mix it with the turmeric, curry, soy sauce, meat, raisins and cooked vegetables.
5. Garnish with green onions and serve warm. Enjoy!