One place we really like to go when we’re visiting our families is a restaurant called Aladdin’s Eatery, which serves delicious Middle Eastern food (probably our favorite type of cuisine!) like hummus, baba ganouj, kebabs, and mujadara. They have a delicious chicken, rice, bean, potato and vegetable dish called “Jasmine’s Favorite” that Rem and I have ordered on many occasions. One night we decided to try our hand at making our own version of the dish. Since my sister works at Aladdin’s, we called to ask her what vegetables were included and used that as our starting point. Aladdin’s uses a special, top secret spice mixture and we’re not exactly sure what’s in it, but we approximated the best we could using coriander and cumin, two spices that are common in Middle Eastern cuisine. Our first attempt turned out pretty good but we thought it could have used some more flavor from the cumin and coriander. We made it again on Christmas Eve for Rem’s mom, dad, and sister. It turned out even better than the first time and was enjoyed by all! It is a very filling dish that is perfect for a cold winter night!
Our Take on "Jasmine’s Favorite"
Inspired by the dish at Aladdin’s Eatery
2 c long grain brown rice OR jasmine rice (cook according to time on package directions; in the pot with the rice and water add 1 T grass grazed butter and generous amounts of salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander)
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 lb. chicken breast
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 potato, chopped small (with skin on)
1 yam or sweet potato, chopped small (with skin on)
1-32 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, with the juice
1-15 oz. can organic kidney beans, drained but not rinsed
1-15 oz. can organic garbanzo beans, drained but not rinsed
2 handfuls baby carrots, chopped into small rounds
1-2 c frozen peas
Cumin, coriander, more salt and pepper
Combine rice, water, butter, salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander as described above. Once the rice starts to boil, put the lid on, turn to low and let cook for 50 min (do not take the lid off!). Pour 2-3 T extra virgin olive oil in large dutch oven and heat to medium-high. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, then place in dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper. When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the onion and continue to sauté the chicken and onion until very little liquid is left in the pan and the onions are soft. Meanwhile, cut potatoes and carrots into small pieces. Microwave the potatoes and carrots in a large bowl for 3-4 minutes, then add them to the dutch oven. Sauté the potatoes and carrots with the chicken and onions for about 5 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes (with the juice), beans, and peas. There should be a fair amount of liquid form the tomato juice to simmer the mixture in. Sprinkle on a generous amount of coriander, cumin, pepper and a little more salt. Cook with the lid on (taking it off to stir the mixture occasionally) until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through, about 15 minutes. At this point the rice should also be done. Stir the rice into the chicken and vegetable mixture and serve the whole meal hot! Yum! This also makes great leftovers. Makes about 8 large servings.