Lebanese Chicken Pilaf


Place a stewing chicken in enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Skim. Season water with salt, pepper and a cinnamon stick and simmer chicken until meat comes easily from the bones. Do not boil as this will toughen the meat. Cook in a pressure cooker if desired. Remove meat in large pieces from the bones. Reserve the stock. For every 1 1/4 cups stock take one cup of rice which has been soaked in hot water for half an hour and fry gently in samneh or butter. Then boil rice in chicken broth until tender. The broth will be absorbed. Saute 1/2 cup blanched almonds and 1/4 of a cup pine nuts in butter. Arrange nuts in bottom of greased deep round dish or mold. Cover with rice and press down gently. Unmold onto serving platter. Garnish with whole pieces of chicken. Serve hot with chicken gravy.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)