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Russian Plov...A One Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe

Plov is the ultimate Russian comfort food. It's a one pot chicken and rice dish that is packed with flavors and spices and just takes a few steps to reach ultimate rice perfection. Perfect rice and tender chicken that beg you for just another bite. Plus it's SUPER freezer friendly! How awesome is that!
Course One Pot
Cuisine Russian
Author Mila Furman

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of chicken breast and thighs boneless, or lamb or beef
  • 3 cups of enriched parboiled rice
  • 2 large onions
  • 8-10 large carrots
  • 3-4 heads of garlic with the tops removed
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper corns
  • salt to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. First we start off with the rice. The rice is crucial! You must use enriched, parboiled long grain rice. Not the healthiest, but it works the best.
  2. Rinse it through, well, under cold water. Then transfer it to a bowl and let it soak in cold water while you make the rest of the plov.
  3. Next comes the meat. Traditional plov is made with lamb. However, I have made it with beef and chicken and it was fantastic. In this instance, we are using chicken breast and boneless skinless chicken thighs.
  4. Before you get dirty with your meat, heat up your heavy-bottomed pan with olive oil in it. You want it smoking hot.
  5. Cut up the meat into medium cubes, a little bigger than bite size. For the chicken breast, first cut them into strips. Then cut them into cubes.The chicken thighs just cut into rough pieces. Each thigh should be cut into 2-3 pieces.
  6. Season the meat heavily with salt and pepper. Then add to your pot carefully so not to burn yourself. You may need to do this in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan. Get them really nice and golden brown.
  7. While the meat is browning, Lets prep our veggies. Cut off the ends of the onions. And then cut in half so that it is easier to remove the peel. Next, slice each half of the onion in half. Now slice the onion horizontally. Do the same with your other onion.
  8. Peel all your carrots. If you have a Vitamix or food processor I would highly recommend pulling it out. I used to cut up the carrots by hand, but there really is no need for that nor the callouses caused by the knife after cutting up all those carrots into matchsticks.
  9. If you are using a food processor then go ahead and you your medium shredder attachment.
  10. If you are using a Vitamix then you are going to want to do a wet chop. Add your carrots to the Vitamix and fill it up with water just above the carrots.
  11. Pulse it a 2-3 times until they are all shredded. Pour into a colander to pour out excess water.
  12. Next, add the onions to the nicely browned meat. Toss together. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes over high heat.
  13. Add in the carrots and toss everything to combine. Let cook for 15 minutes.
  14. Now, cover this whole mass with boiling water, just enough to cover the top. Add in salt, pepper and cumin. Taste the liquid. You will be using the seasoning to season a lot of rice. So make sure it's extra seasoned. If using whole bulbs of garlic, go ahead and nestle them into the mixture. You want to use boiling water because otherwise the mixture would cool off and your cooking process would be interrupted.
  15. GO AWAY. PLEASE PLEASE Please whatever you do DO NOT STIR! You will disrupt the wonderful magic that is about to happen! Go talk on the phone, watch half a movie, drink some wine...whatever you want...just do not touch this for 45 minutes.  Allow this to cook over MEDIUM heat.  You want it to be heavily simmering.  But not a roasting boil.

  16. Once this time has passed crank up the heat. Remember that rice you had steeping in the water? Now is the time to drain it and prepare for its final resting place. Once drained, lay the rice CAREFULLY over your carrot, meat and onion mixture. Pretend you are gently "blanketing" the mixture with your rice.
  17. Again, take BOILING water and SLOWLY cover the rice just about 1/2 of an inch above the rice. See all that beautiful brown goodness come up to the top? That's your flavor right there, that's what you did all that work for.
  18. Let the rice cook on HIGH heat until there is no more liquid. If you see liquid still bubbling up from the top, it isn't done. If you see liquid bubbling up at the bottom, it isn't done. Only when it is completely dry is it done. And this will take about 30 minutes. Once the rice is dry, cover and let stand for about 30 minutes. Then you can gently fluff it with a fork. Make sure to mix well as a lot of the meat, carrots and onions will be at the bottom