Lebanese-Style Chicken and Brown Rice

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It's one that I grew up with and it's also one which I shall never tire of. I've posted it--or variations of it--on numerous occasions, but because I believe it is so delicious and easy to make I thought I'd post it again. The main difference between the recipe listed below and the one in the pictures is that the one in the pictures is made with brown rice (gradually I've migrated to eating mostly whole grains). And the main difference in how it cooks is that brown rice will take 30-40 minutes to cook where as white rice only takes 20 minutes; brown rice also uses more liquid. I cooked this particular batch outside on my propane stove as not to heat up my teeny kitchen. When you cook this recipes the aromas of the spices and simmering chicken will make your mouth water as they permeate the house...or in this case, back yard. I should have made enough for the neighbors...

For other posts on variations of this recipe, which include more explicit directions and photos, click here, here, here, or here. For additional posts on Lebanese recipes, click here. To read an article I wrote for Sally's Place on Lebanese Cuisine many years ago, click here.

Lebanese Chicken-and-Rice
Makes 4 servings
3 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken breasts
4 ounces diced onion
2 ounces vermicelli, broken into pieces
12 ounces ground beef or lamb
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups long grain rice
3 cups hot chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Heat the olive oil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sauté the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and vermicelli to the pan and cook until golden; remove and set aside. Add the meat to the pan (and a little water and/or oil if necessary) and cook until the meat begins to brown, then add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Add the cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and salt; sauté two minutes while stirring. Add the onions and pasta back to the pan along with the rice, stirring to fully coat it with with the oil and spices. Then add the chicken breasts to the pan, pushing them gently into the rice. Pour in the broth and cover the pot with a lid. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 18 minutes, then remove the pot from the stove and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with minced parsley.