Monday, February 6, 2012

Serious Eats' Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice

Serious Eats has long been one of my favorite websites for food news, reviews, and recipes. It's one of the websites that inspired me to start blogging nearly four years ago and I turn to it often for inspiration. At the end of last year, Serious Eats published their first cookbook and did a series of posts on some of the recipes. This one caught my eye immediately. It's been a while since I've been to New York, but I have vivid memories of these Halal carts, even though I never had a chance to try them.  It's good to know I can have this deliciousness without having to fly all the way to New York. The chicken is savory and flavorful while the rice has a slight warmth. The sauce at first taste, may seem too sweet, but really works when mixed with the rice and chicken and cools everything down. I didn't have any Harissa on hand so I used Nando's peri peri sauce which worked well. I have a major aversion to iceberg lettuce so I used butter lettuce which added that nice crunch. I will definitely be making this again when I get a craving for street food at home.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice

One year ago: 8oz Burger Bar
Two years ago: Asian Turkey Cabbage Cups
Three years ago: Greek Turkey Burgers

Serious Eats' Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce
(Adapted from Serious Eats)

Makes 6-8 servings

*Note: The original recipe says not to marinate the chicken for more than four hours or it will turn mushy. I marinated for two hours

For the chicken:
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
5 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (8 thighs)
1 tablespoon canola oil

For the rice:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
1 head butter lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, diced
Pocketless pita bread, brushed in butter, toasted, and cut into strips
Hot sauce

To make the chicken:
Whisk the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, and olive oil together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add half of the marinade. Turn the chicken to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Reserve the other half of the marinade in a large bowl.

Remove the chicken from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for ten minutes, turning once, halfway through. It may be necessary to do this in batches. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let the meat rest for 5 minutes.

Chop the chicken into 1/2-inch chunks. Add the chicken to the bowl with the remaining marinade and toss to combine. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make the rice:
Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the turmeric and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the rice is lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid has absorbed, 15-20 minutes.

To make the sauce:
Whisk together the mayo, Greek yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the entire contents of the chicken bowl to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Serve the chicken on a pile of rice. Top with the white sauce and hot sauce. Serve with the lettuce, tomato, and pita strips.

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Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] said...

I love Serious Eats too!

Erica said...

Since Josh isn't a huge fan of this type of food, I've never had anything like this! I'm totally intrigued. I need to store this for a week when hes on travel ;)

lisa is cooking said...

I love the idea of street food at home. And, that sauce sounds so good with the chicken!

susan said...

this looks delish and my kids would love this! it's on my to-do list.

aida mollenkamp said...

I've never thought of making halal cart-style food but i do have a soft spot for it -- thanks for sharing the recipe!

Gastronomer said...

This recipe is definitely on my To Make list!

Heather Christo said...

This looks so good Esi! I loooooove stuff like this!

angela@spinachtiger said...

This has caught my eye as I'm trying to eat light but flavorful. And, I want to make that sauce right now and eat it. I've never cooked with boneless thighs, but now I"m inspired to.

Joanne said...

My coworkers get halal cart at LEAST once a week and it always smells SO GOOD. But I know I'll feel like death rolled over after I eat it, so I abstain. Not I'm bringing it from home!

marla said...

Looks amazing & like something my whole family would like!!

vanillasugarblog said...

I am printing this one. I LOVE this kind of cuisine. That sauce, oh that sauce.