« violet valentine | Main | daring cooks: fish, traditional flavours powdered »

chicken and almond pilaf

the key to making a decent chicken pilaf is having really good quality chicken and chicken stock. if you skimp on these then there is a high likelihood that the dish will be bland and not worth the effort. this dish was made using leftover meat from a roast chicken plus the stock that i had made from that chicken’s carcass.


making chicken stock whenever you have a roast is incredibly worthwhile and easy. i also ways strip the majority of the meat off the carcass, then put the bones into a large pan, cover with water, add a peeled and halved onion, a peeled carrot, a bay leaf and some peppercorns. if i have fresh parsley in then i’ll add that as well (you can just use the stems and keep the leaves for something where they will be part of the end dish). bring to the boil and then let it simmer (i cover it so there isn’t too much steam gathering in the kitchen) for an hour or two. when it’s ready, drain and strip any final tiny bits of meat off the carcass.


this dish has subtle flavours which, i think, really let the chicken shine through. we ate it with salad as a summery supper, sitting in the garden, but it was as nice the following day, eaten at room temperature as a packed lunch.


chicken and almond pilaf (serves 2-3)


5g butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

250g basmati rice

500ml good quality chicken stock

large pinch of saffron

zest and juice of 1 lemon

c250g cooked chicken, torn into bite size pieces and at room temperature

1 handful chopped parsley

2 tablespoons toasted almond flakes

salt & pepper


heat the butter and oil over a medium heat, until the butter melts. add the rice and stir so it looks glossy. add the stock and bring to the boil. add the saffron and lemon juice, cover with a lid, turn the heat to low and leave to cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed (10-15 minutes).


when the rice is almost cooked, add the chicken. when the rice is ready and the chicken has warmed through, stir in the lemon zest, parsley and toasted almonds. season to taste.


Reader Comments (6)

This looks lovely. I made the corander chicken yesterday - your photo in the sidebar was soooo tempting. Mine didn't look so pretty but was delicious. Thanks.
July 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSyrahsuzie
I don't have time to make stock after every roast chicken so I stash the carcasses in the freezer and when I have a few I get out my enormous stock pot and get going. I then reduce the stock by half and freeze it in 300ml portions. To thaw it, I put the frozen stock into a jug with an equal quantity of boiling water and it's good to go in 10 minutes.
July 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
This looks so lovely and I'm sure would be fantastic for a weekend lunch while sitting in the garden enjoying the weather (not the weather I have at the moment though) :)
July 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnita
syrahsuzie - i'm glad you liked the coriander chicken. i didn't think it was that photogenic either! maybe your leftovers could make their way into a pilaf...

caroline - great tips! especially about reducing the stock down - i never do that which means i end up with big bags of stock in the freezer when a half portion would be so much more effective. i also need to be better at labelling it!

anita - london's weather is crazy at the moment - half an hour of sunshine followed by a storm or lots of wind.
July 16, 2009 | Registered Commenterabby
I just cooked this for dinner and it is TERRIFIC! Absolutely delicious, and fragrant, and great with a green salad. Thank you so much!
July 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlillyanne
hi lillyanne, i'm really glad you liked it. i'm planning a roast this weekend so will no doubt be thinking about this for leftovers.
July 24, 2009 | Registered Commenterabby

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.