This Chicken Rice Pilaf recipe is an easy to make one pot recipe that is flavored with currants, all spice and pine nuts. While in the recipe below, I cook my chicken from scratch, It is also a great way to use leftover chicken for a filling and flavorful meal.
Place chicken thighs, onion, garlic, lemon juice, 1-teaspoon salt, and water in a large pot. Bring it to a boil, and then gently simmer (in medium-low heat) until the chicken is cooked through, skimming and discarding the foam from the top as you go, 25-30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate, and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Using two forks shred them into smaller and thinner strips. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside. Discard the bones. Reserve 1 cup of the liquid that the chicken was cooked in.
Place currants in a small bowl and pour boiling water over it. Set aside.
Cook the rice:
Heat the butter in a large pan. Add orzo, and cook, stirring constantly, until brown. It will look like it is (almost) burning. This will take 5-7 minutes.
Add the allspice, cinnamon, pine nuts, and rice. Cook in medium heat, stirring constantly for 6-7 minutes, making sure that the rice is thoroughly mixed with orzo and spices.
Add 1 cup of the reserved liquid and 2 1/3 cups of boiling water, 1-teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Give it a stir. Bring it to a boil, turn down the heat to low, cover tightly with the lid, and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
Garnish and rest:
Remove from the heat. Open the lid, place the shredded chicken on top of the rice. Drain the currants and scatter it on top of the chicken.
Top it off with the fresh herbs and scallions on top of the chicken and currants. Put the lid back on and let it rest (steam) for 15 minutes.
Give it a gentle mix making sure that the shredded chicken pieces are equally distributed within the dish. Place it in a serving or casserole dish,
When ready to serve, season it with freshly grounded black pepper.
The amount of water and time to cook the rice may differ based on the brand you use. Check for the cooking directions on the package for the right amount of water and time to cook the rice.
I used 1 cup of the liquid that the chicken was cooked in to enhance the chicken flavor and subtracted that 1 cup from the total amount of water I needed to cook the rice.