Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken and Rice--Lebanese Style

I have to warn you that the measurements with this recipe are, well, not quite exact. That's because this recipe comes from a Lebanese family. They measure things in coffee cups--Arabic coffee cups. I remember one time my mom wanted a Tabbouleh recipe from Computer Man's mom. Well, after a poor translation, she was adding in AMERICAN coffee cups of things and wondering why there was so much of them! Computer Man laughed his head off and realized he hadn't translated the coffee cup part correctly, and why on earth would she question it? She didn't have any other coffee cups to choose from, so she used the "#1 Dad" mug! Funny stuff. Okay, in hindsight maybe it's not that funny of a story, but it gave us a laugh or two...or three. This made for a wonderful Sunday dinner that will be used many times over I'm sure! Enjoy!

Chicken and Rice--Lebanese Style
The In-Laws :)
2 Cornish game hens
4 cinnamon sticks
2 T lemon juice
sprinkle of garlic salt (enough to cover top and bottom of chickens)
vegetable oil (enough to cover top and bottom of chickens)
Grill Mates Chicken Rub (enough to cover top and bottom of chickens)
a few turns of the pepper mill
2 cups rice
1 T cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Thoroughly wash the chickens and make sure all the blood and yuck is out. Put the two chickens and the 4 cinnamon sticks in a large stock pot and fill with water; bring to a boil on high. As soon as it starts foaming at the top, use a strainer to remove the foam the pot. After the "first foam," continue to remove the foam for 10 minutes. Remove chickens from pot and let all the water drain out of them. DON'T DRAIN THE WATER FROM THE STOCK POT! Transfer them to a large cookie sheet. Season both sides with oil, lemon juice, garlic salt, pepper, and chicken rub. Bake in oven until the side that's facing up is browned; flip them over and do the same thing. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook these bad boys. While the chickens are cooking, put 1 T vegetable oil in the bottom of another pot on medium high. Scoop out the 2 cups of rice and put them in the hot oil; stir around to coat evenly. Add in the 1 T of cinnamon and a few sprinkles of salt. Put a strainer over this pot. Using the 1 cup scoop, take out 4 cups of the chicken broth and pour over rice through the strainer. Bring the rice to a boil; cover and simmer until the rice is fully cooked--it takes about 20 minutes, or so. When the rice and chicken are done, pull apart the chickens and place atop a bed of rice on your serving platter. Enjoy and be thankful you get to know a recipe from Computer Man's mother's vault--she rarely shared the secrets behind her cooking!

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