This traditional Lebanese cinnamon rice and chicken dish is called Riz bi-Djaj. It is served on Easter and special occasions.
1 whole chicken
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bay leaf
3 cups medium grained rice (such as jasmine or basmati)
3 - 4 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup yellow raisins
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup almonds
2 cups pomegranate seeds
1 handful of fresh mint, torn
1 handful of fresh parsley, torn
2 cups labneh
Put the entire chicken in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a medium simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and tender. Do not over cook or chicken will become tough. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool.
To clarify the broth strain by placing a paper towel or coffee filter in the bottom of a stainer. Pour the broth through the strainer and into a bowl. Transfer 6 cups of the strained broth to a large pot and reserve the remaining broth for another use.
Add three cups of rice to the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is done. Allow to sit another 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
While the rice is cooking remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
When the rice is done melt the butter in a skillet and saute the nuts for 2 - 3 minutes until they are golden brown. Combine the rice, chicken, ground cinnamon, salt, raisins and half of the pine nuts and almonds in a bowl or in the pan you cooked the rice in. Mix until the rice is evenly coated in the cinnamon.
To serve pack the rice mixture into a small bowl. Invert the bowl onto a serving platter. Top with the remaining almonds and pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, mint and parsley. May be served warm or at room temperature.
Recipe by Something New For Dinner at https://somethingnewfordinner.com/recipe/lebanese-cinnamon-chicken-rice/