This is a family recipe that’s been around ever since I can remember. It’s a chicken casserole recipe with Spanish influence, not Indian, contrary to its name. Nevertheless and for unidentifiable reasons my aunt Janane, coined it “Poulet A L’indien” perhaps because the spices hailed from India.
I met up with my other aunt, Amale, in Montreal this week. After a few phone calls to Lebanon, we got the recipe from aunt Janane and got busy in the kitchen.
Well, this time I didn’t do much but photograph. Here’s who bossed me around the kitchen:
Isn’t she smokin’! We like to sip wine and laugh hysterically together. I love this lady!
- 4 large chicken breasts, quartered
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp shredded ginger
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 6 large and very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 bell peppers, roughly chopped
- 2 cups of basmati rice
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/4G. Add the chicken breast to a baking pan and season with the salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, 2 tbsp of the smoked paprika and the ginger. Mix well and then layout the chicken breast evenly. Sprinkle over half of the chopped bell peppers, onions, and most of the chopped tomatoes, leaving a handful aside to be cooked with the rice.
- In a bowl, combine the tomato paste, lemon juice, soya sauce and 1 tbsp of the olive oil and then drizzle all over the baking tray or casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or till done.
- Meanwhile, place a medium-sized deep pot over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil and sauté the remaining onions, bell peppers and tomatoes for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and sprinkle over with the remaining paprika. Mix well to combine and cover the rice with water according to instructions on package. Bring to a boil and cook according to instructions on package. I personally prefer to turn the flame off once the rice comes to a boil, and let it soak the water. I find it turns more fluffy and it's easy if you need to move your attention elsewhere.
- Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and serve it over rice.