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Persian Chicken Polo - meat

Posted by : Lita Lotzkar

500 g  Rice, basmati
Onion  (to taste)
5 tb margarine or oil
1 lg Chicken, roasting, jointed
Salt & black pepper
1 tb Raisins or more
150 g  Apricots, dried
1 ts Cinnamon, ground

  Fry the onion in 3 tb of margarine or oil until golden,
  add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Season
  to taste with salt and pepper, add raisins and
  appricots, and continue to cook for a minute or two
  longer, turning the fruit in the fat. Sprinkle with
  cinnamon, cover with water and simmer gently, covered,
  until the chicken is very tender and the sauce reduced.
  Bone the chicken if you like. Wash and boil the rice
  according to the recipe for chilau but do not steam it.
  Put 2 tb melted margarine or oil at the bottom of a large
  heavy saucepan. Spread half of the partly cooked rice
  over this, cover with the chickem pieces, pour the
  rich fruity sauce over them and cover with the
  remaining rice. Cover the pan with a cloth, put the
  lid on tightly, and steam over a very low heat for 20
  to 30 minutes. The cloth will capture the steam rising
  from the rice and help to make it fluffy. Serve all
  mixed together.

Archivist's note: The Persians developed a two-step process
for cooking rice to produce fluffy, separate grains along
with a crisp crust on the bottom of the pan.  This technique
is called "chelou." The name gets changed to "polo" when meat,
chicken, vegetables, or fruit gets added to the rice recipe.
Chicken polo is given a sweet treatment and is particularly 
associated with Rosh Hashanah in Persia.

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