Persian Pomegranate Chicken with Butter Rice

Cook Time:

85 - 90 minutes

Serves:

2 - 4 people

Persian Pomegranate Chicken with Butter Rice

500 g Basmati rice
1 teaspoon sea salt
80 millilitres vegetable oil
60 g butter
A few saffron fronds
1 large carrot
250 g walnuts
½ teaspoon powdered fenugreek
1 chicken (1 to 1/5 kg) quartered
500 millilitres gluten free chicken stock
60 millilitres non-alcoholic Grenadine syrup (Pomegranate Molasses are better if you can find it)
1 dessert spoon honey

Begin by preparing your ingredients. Fill a large saucepan with water and mix in a teaspoon of sea salt. Rinse the Basmati rice thoroughly then place in the salted water and leave to soak for at least 2 hours. Meanwhile, fill a mug with a couple of dessert spoons of luke warm water then add the saffron and leave to infuse. Place the walnuts in a blender and whizz until finely chopped then heat a frying pan with a little oil and on a low heat cook the walnuts for roughly 5 or 6 minutes then remove from the pan and set aside. Put the butter in a saucepan and (just before you need to cook) place on a very gentle heat to melt then remove from the heat. Finally peel, top and tail then grate the carrot and set aside.

When ready to cook, place the saucepan of rice on a high heat and bring to the boil then simmer for 3 minutes before draining and leaving in a sieve. In a large saucepan (heavy bottomed iron is best, but I sued a normal aluminium one) place the 80 ml of oil and half of the saffron and infused water from the mug. Put on a medium heat then add a thin layer (roughly 2 cm) of the rice to the bottom. Leaving a gap at the edges now add the remaining rice building into a cone, then use a spoon to make a well in the middle and pour in the rest of the saffron water and the melted butter. Take a clean kitchen towel and wrap this around the lid before placing on top and closing firmly. Cook on the medium heat for 4 minutes then reduce to a very low heat and steam the rice for one hour. In a large non-stick saucepan, heat a little oil then place the chicken quarters in and brown on each side for 3 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan, take off the skin and throw this away before returning the chicken to the pan, adding grated carrot, fenugreek, gluten free chicken stock and a twist of pepper then simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken after this time, add the walnuts, honey and Grenadine syrup and stir thoroughly before simmering for another 15 minutes. By now the rice should be ready, fill your wash basin with cold water and dunk the outside of the rice saucepan half into it and hold it there for roughly a minute (this will loosen the rice from the pan inside). Remove and then serve the rice and top with the chicken and sauce.