Chicken Ma’aluba

chicken-maaluba

Serves: 6
3 medium onions, sliced
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 threads saffron
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste
3 medium potatoes, sliced
1 small head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 medium eggplant, quartered and cut into 1/2″ thick slices
6 drumsticks and chicken thighs
Dash of paprika
2-1/2 cups brown Basmati rice, uncooked

Sauté potatoes in 1 tablespoon of oil in non-stick pan until lightly golden, but not cooked through. Set aside.
Sauté cauliflower in remaining oil. Set aside. In the same pan, sauté eggplant until lightly browned.
Place chicken in pot and Add saffron, turmeric, thyme, nutmeg and pepper to taste. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour, then remove chicken and save the liquid.
In large Dutch oven pot, spread tomato and onion along the bottom and arrange chicken over onion layer. Place eggplant slices between chicken pieces. Distribute cauliflower over the top, and then repeat with potato slices.
Spread uncooked rice over potatoes. Add broth to cover by a sentimemter. Place pot, uncovered, over a medium flame and let liquid simmer 15 minutes. Then cover pot, reduce heat and cook on low for 30 to 45 minutes to cook rice. Add more liquid if needed to keep mixture moist, but be careful not to add so much that rice becomes sticky or risotto-like.
Test for doneness by removing the cover and sniffing; when it smells a little burned, it’s ready.
Take a round metal tray and place on top of pot. Turn pot over onto tray, patting the top to release chicken. Remove pot or use a large spoon to transfer rice, vegetables and chicken to a platter.

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