A comforting casserole of chicken and rice with carrots, onions, herbs and spices.
- 2 small heads garlic
- 2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed several times and drained (see notes below)
- 4-5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed (or leave the skin on for more flavor, if you prefer)
- 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
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
- 3 cups boiling water
- Parsley sprigs to garnish, optional
- Slice off about 3/4 of an inch from the top of each garlic head, exposing a cross section of the inner cloves. Set aside.
- Season chicken 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 (1 tablespoon), paprika (1/2 teaspoon), hot paprika (1/2 teaspoon), turmeric (1/2 teaspoon), 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or two, stirring, until fragrant. Add 3/4 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 pot. Sprinkle the rice into the pot, creating a flat even layer over the chicken and vegetables, 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 handle of 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 wooden spoon. Cover the pot, and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from heat. Pull out the garlic bulbs and stir rice and chicken together. Mound the Plov onto a serving platter with the garlic heads on top. Garnish with parsley sprigs.
How to rinse rice: put the rice in a mesh colander. Put the colander into a large bowl and fill the bowl with water. Swish the rice around with your hand and you will see the water get cloudy. Lift the colander and pour out the cloudy water. Repeat the process two or three times, until the water remains fairly clear when you swish the rice.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 55 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Uzbekistan
Keywords: Chicken and rice casserole with carrots and spices