Happy Anniversary to Panning The Globe. Three years ago today I posted my first recipe on this site – a recipe for lamb and rice casserole from Uzbekistan, called Plov. I remember how incredibly nervous I was to hit the “publish” button. My heart was pounding. The thought of my post being out there for the world to see – my recipe, my words, my photos – made me flush with excitement and anxiety. The irony of it all was that there was nobody looking. My Plov post was just sitting there in cyberspace all alone.
But not for long! My husband, kids and close friends were right on it!! And somehow, from there, the news spread.
Three years later and I still get a little fluttery and nervous when I hit “publish,” but just a little. And now – thanks to you – there are thousands of people visiting Panning The Globe every day! (smile!)
I adore exploring the world through food. There’s so much to learn, so many interesting cooking techniques to try, new flavors to experience, exotic spices, fascinating stories of how a dish came to be.
I love sitting down with my family to a giant platter of Uzbeki Plov for dinner! We all smile at the sight of it – a yellow mountain of chicken and rice with whole garlic heads on top. We love saying the word “Plov” over and over again. And then we dig in and enjoy the interesting spices and flavors, the meal energized by thoughts of the exotic far-away land where the dish originated.
I hope I’ve done a good job of spreading my excitement for Global cuisine to you. I look forward to the next three years and beyond. I’m incredibly grateful to you and thrilled to have you here reading, cooking, commenting and making this endeavor worthwhile. Thank you!
- 2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed several times and drained
- 2 small heads garlic
- 4-5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (or leave the skin on, if you like)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or chopped (5 medium carrots)
- 2 large onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon hungarian hot paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (for color)
- 3 cups boiling water
- Slice off about ¾ of an inch from the top of each garlic head, exposing a cross section of the inner cloves. Set aside.
- Spread chicken out on a tray and season with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a Dutch Oven or heavy pot with a lid. Brown chicken in batches (4-5 thighs at a time) for 3-4 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed. Set thighs on a plate. Don't clean pot as you'll continue to use it.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to the pot if it looks dry. Add carrots and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
- Return chicken to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Add the next 6 ingredients: cumin seeds, paprika, hot paprika, turmeric, 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine. Add ¾ cup water. Bring to a simmer. Cover pot and cook gently for 15 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and using the back of a wooden spoon, flatten the chicken and vegetables into the bottom of the casserole. Sprinkle the rice into the pot, creating a flat even layer with the help of the wooden spoon.
- Push the garlic bulbs, exposed side first, down through the rice till only their bottoms are exposed.
- Pour the 3 cups of boiling water slowly over the wooden spoon, letting it fall gently into the pot so as not to disturb the rice layer on top. Poke a few holes in the rice layer with the thin handle of the spoon. Cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Pull out garlic bulbs and stir rice and chicken together. Mound the Plov on a serving platter with the garlic heads on top.