I found this recipe shortly after we welcomed little Eitan. Needless to say, we now have it every Shabbat. It is incredibly easy, only uses one pot, and is a whole meal, but can also be modified so we don’t get sick of it.
So far, I’ve tried three different spice blends. From our favorite to our least favorite: the original za’atar, herbs de Provence, and paprika/garlic powder.
The original recipe calls for boiling hot broth to cook the rice. This is completely unnecessary. I used room temperature broth the first time and it came out amazing. Then I switched to water: cheaper, easier, and better for the environment. Although it wasn’t as delicious, because you are cooking the rice under the chicken, it still absorbs a lot of those chicken juices.
Another change I’ve made is the preparation of the chicken. I hated wasting a plastic bag or washing the bowl. So now I just arrange the chicken over the rice, pour oil on it and mush that around, pour lemon juice on it and mush that around, and then sprinkle my spices. You end up using a lot less spice, too.
The final change is the veggies. Adding them to the original pot and drizzling with EVOO is a pain. While the chicken is in the oven, I put the veggies on a cookie sheet (with aluminum foil – no dishes!), then sprinkle it with EVOO, garlic, and salt. Once the first 50 minutes of cooking is done, I put that in the oven. For presentation and ease of storage, I add the veggies to the casserole after everything is cooked.
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic (or one teaspoon prepared garlic)
- 4 tablespoons EVOO
- 3 pound chicken, cut into eight pieces
- Spices to cover the chicken (the original recipe calls for ¼ cup za’atar, which seems like a lot to me)
- Juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups rice
- 3 cups chicken broth or water
- 2 heads of broccoli and 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- Preheat over to 375.
- Mix onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons EVOO at the bottom of a casserole or dutch oven. Place in oven for 15 minutes. I include preheat time.
- Mix rice and salt. When onion mixture comes out of onion, add rice mixture and stir.
- Arrange chicken over rice. Apply remaining EVOO, lemon juice, and spices to the chicken. Pour water around the chicken.
- Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange veggies on cookie sheet and sprinkle with EVOO, garlic, and salt. I don’t have quantities for these… I just use what looks right. It’s probably about ¼ cup of EVOO, 2 tablespoons of garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix.
- When the timer goes off, remove foil and put the veggies in oven. Cook both for another 20 minutes.
- Add veggies to chicken casserole.
recipe by Jamie Geller