THIS DISH IS BASICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE MIDDLE EAST BUT POPULAR IN RUSSIA AND CENTRAL ASIA AS WELL. HOWEVER, IT HAS BECOME QUITE POPULAR IN THE USA OVER THE YEARS AND MADE IN SEVERAL VARIATIONS. THE TRUE MIDDLE EASTERN VERSION IS DONE WITH LAMB AS THE BASE AND IS DELICIOUS BUT I NEVER MADE IT THAT WAY MYSELF. THIS PARTICULAR RECIPE IS MADE WITH A CHICKEN BASE IN PLACE OF THE LAMB. I'VE SERVED IT IN SEVERAL RESTAURANTS WHERE IT HAD BECOME A STAPLE AS WELL AS HAVING GREAT REVIEWS EVEN FROM THE PRESS. YA GUNA LOVIT!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 lb. (approx.) of angle hair pasta broken into 1" pieces.
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onions, diced
- 2-3 stalks of celery with leafs, diced
- 1/4 lb. of sliced mushrooms or a can of straw (stain liquid into chicken stock)
- handful of chopped parsley
- 2-3 cloves of finely chopped fresh garlic
- 1 & 1/2 cups rice (Uncle Ben's works well)
- 6 cups of chicken stock (fresh, College Inn, chicken base, whatever)
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron, stirred into a little hot water for a few minutes (optional)
- 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
- Kosher salt & ground black pepper, to taste. Go easy, the stock may be salty enough.
In a practical size pan bring the stock to a low boil. In a 12" sauté pan (non-stick is good) heated to med., add oil and 1/2 the butter until it simmers and butter is melted. Add celery, onion, peppers and
S & P to taste. You may have to up the heat a little and cook until al dente, 3-5 minutes (still on the crisp side). Just before they are done, add mushrooms and garlic and cook about a minute. Strain and set aside saving liquid. Add liquid to chicken stock. In a good sized heavy bottom pot on med. / high heat add the remaining butter and a splash of oil. As soon as the butter melts add the pasta and sauté until golden brown then add the rice. Toss to coat, lower heat slightly then add some stock, about 1/2 and fold in well. As soon as it comes to a low boil, lower heat and cover. Add walnuts and saffron if using, Keep covered unless stirring. Do stir occasionally by folding in the rice from the outside into the center and loosen the bottom; don't over do it because it will break the rice. Be sure it is not sticking or burning in the center of the pan, if so, lower heat. When all the stock is absorbed into the rice, add additional stock, but not all of it. Continue the same procedure until the rice is cooked but still al dente. Turn off heat and fold in vegetables, 1/2 the parsley and garnish over the top with the balance of parsley. You can replace the cover and it should stay warm until ready to serve. It will last for several days refrigerated and just nuke it as required.
Print this recipe
Source: SOUTH SIDE SOCIAL CLUB COOKBOOK
Submitted By: VINCENZO PAOLINO