Chicken pilaf recipe / chicken pilau recipe. Anyway you want to call it.
This chicken pilaf recipe is a product of, I shall call them, leftovers. Or, the same way, a way of using the whole bird, in this case, a chicken. I shall explain.
On Sundays, lots and lots of Romanian families prepare the well-loved chicken soup. Made either with homemade noodles or semolina dumplings. The whole chicken (the fatter the better), simmers sometimes since dawn till lunch time, together with lots of veg, resulting in a clear, rich and tasty chicken stock.
Then, the soup is strained. The wing, back, some of the breast meat and vegetables will be used in a chicken salad with mayonnaise, and the legs (and maybe breast) will be browned in the oven to be served along some other garnishes.
But sometimes, the legs are actually made this way, cooked in a pilaf (the Romanian word is the same), or pilau. A pilaf or a pilau in essence is a rice dish cooked in some kind of broth or stock. This is a simple chicken pilaf recipe, with just a few good ingredients.
Although I kept the legs fresh (not cooked them in the stock), the recipe is still the same and tastes great. But the most important thing in this chicken pilaf recipe is the stock. I also removed the skin from the chicken, it looks better, and also makes it just a bit healthier.
You need good chicken stock, with lots of golden fat (I always use corn-fed chicken, as much as I can), and lovely vegetables, rich and smooth. All will be absorbed by the rice, therefore making the rice taste wonderful.
- 2 chicken legs (or 4 pieces of chicken tights)
- 200 grams short grain rice (risotto rice will work well)
- 800 ml good chicken stock
- 1 onion
- 75 ml oil
- fresh parsley
Brown the chicken legs, or tights, in as little oil as you can. If you have a heavy bottomed dish, it works best as it will stop the meat from sticking and burning. I used a thin dish, therefore I had to use another pan after browning the meat, as I didn’t want to get any of the “burnt” bits in the pilaf. Keep the chicken aside until later.
Using a touch of the clean oil from the meat, sweat the onions for 2-3 minutes until they are soft, but don’t change colour. Then drop in the rice. It’s unwashed, not soaked, just rice from the bag. Mix well to coat all the grains with the oil and warm them up, for about 30 seconds.
Pour in the chicken stock. Stir once and add the meat. Place in the preheated oven, uncovered, at 180C, for 30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes that there is still enough liquid in the pan and the rice is not burning.
Garnish with plenty of freshly chopped parsley and serve.
Other popular Romanian recipes:
- Two minutes roasted chicken legs.
- Romanian baked beans with smoked pig’s knuckle.
- Stuffed cabbage rolls with pork meat.