Weekend Food Prep–Mediterranean-Style Baked Chicken and Brown Rice Pilaf

I don’t know if I get to call this Mediterranean-style or if that is culinary cultural appropriation, except that the flavors were inspired by some of my favorite dishes from a local Lebanese restaurant, and it has chickpeas in it. For a tasty, and maybe more legit variation, you can substitute a couple tablespoons of Za’atar for the spice mixture.

Mediterranean-Style Baked Chicken and Brown Rice Pilaf

one. Skin and cut up one whole chicken into six parts (2 thighs with drumsticks, 2 half breasts, 2 half breasts with wing). Save the back for chicken broth.

two. Make a spice mixture by stirring together in a small bowl:
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

three. Rub about half of the spice mixture onto the chicken parts. Reserve the other half.

four. In a large, 9×13 casserole pan, spread evenly
1 cup (dry) brown rice
1 15 oz. can, drained, (about 2 cups cooked) chickpeas

five. In a sauté pan, heat a bit of oil and cook until softened:
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced

six. Toss in the remaining spice mixture along with:
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

seven. Pour the hot vegetables onto the rice. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of those. Heat until boiling (you can use the unwashed sauté pan):
1.5 cups homemade chicken broth
2 Tbs. lemon juice

eight. Pour the hot broth mixture over the chicken. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375oF until the rice is fully cooked and the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Yields 6 servings.

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