I did intend to make another dessert and post it up here after my success with my quiche. But as the quiche I cooked contained both gluten and dairy and couldn’t be put on my other blog I thought it would be better to make another main food that could be put up. I’ll leave the dessert until a little later in the week when I go to a friend’s for dinner. I was inspired to make this dish after I helped a friend make chicken pilaf a few nights ago and found I enjoyed the taste. I also thought it would be a fun and simple dish to put together for tonight’s dinner. But it requires a bit of taste testing though, particularly if – like me, you aren’t really used to using spices. It’s very simple and can be made dairy and gluten-free through using stock, like Massel’s, and using dairy-free butter substitutes, like Nuttelex. It’s just that which makes me like this dish. It’s also very flavoursome and is a great way to use up leftover pieces of chicken, or portions of cooked rice. I also used it to get rid of those semi-full packets of frozen vegetables in the freezer. It’s bothersome when there’s only about a half a cup left in one packet and somebody buys and uses a new one instead of using up what’s left first! But what I really like about this dish are the spices. I like dishes with the not-so-hot spices in them, like cumin, cinnamon, cloves, etc. Of course I normally experience cinnamon and cloves in biscuits and cakes. But if mix them with a very plain meat like chicken the result is amazing! Spices really do add a great depth to any dish, and I think that sometimes they’re underrated. I know for a fact that some cultures use them a lot, but traditional western cooking doesn’t, so in my house we didn’t really meet them until we were in our teens. It’s pretty common now for my dad to do some sort of slow-cooker curry, etc, and the best thing about this is that every time the flavour is a little different. I like that about curries and other spiced dishes in general, and I hope my Pilaf can be one of those sorts of dishes for other people too. I will say that you should prepare your spices and liquid portions ahead of time though, to prevent wasting time measuring them out later.
Serves: 4, Prep: 10-15 mins, Cook: 25-30 mins
- 500g chicken, diced into small pieces
- 1.5 cups basmati rice
- 200g frozen mixed vegetables, chopped into small pieces
- 2.5 cups chicken stock, gluten free (I used massel’s)
- 1 tsp nuttelex margarine (or another similar dairy-free butter substitute)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Place the olive oil, onion, garlic and nuttelex into a saucepan and cook until the onion has browned.
- Add in the chicken pieces and the vegetables stir.
- Once the chicken has cooked add the rice, the spices and few tablespoons of the liquid and stir until combined.
- Add the stock and coconut cream and bring the mix to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for up to 20 minutes or until the liquid as been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- About five minutes before the mix is complete stir through the sultanas.
Approx 477.5 calories and 26.5g of carbs per serving