Go Back

Spicy Chicken Pilaf

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword chicken, rice
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Cherry on My Sundae


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 serrano chilies sliced
  • 6 garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup labne
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • chili oil optional
  • lime wedges for serving


  • Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Sear chicken until browned on both sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium. In the same pan, saute shallots, serrano, garlic, and ginger until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and tomato paste and cook until tomato paste is caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of saffron and rice, stirring to combine.
  • Add wine to the pan and bring it to a boil. Continue to simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Add back chicken along with chicken stock, cinnamon stick, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add sliced almonds and toast until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Remove cinnamon stick from the rice and fluff rice with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Place dollops of labne on top and sprinkle buttered almonds, cilantro, and mint. Drizzle with chili oil if desired and serve with lime wedges on the side.