Saturday, July 02, 2005

Chicken and Basmati Rice Pilau with Saffron, Spinach, and Cardamom

Chicken and Basmati Rice Pilau with Saffron, Spinach, and Cardamom(CL)

Serves 5

1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
3/4 cup dried lentils
Cooking spray
10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 cups vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 cup shredded carrot
4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups warm fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup blanched almonds

Cover rice with cold water. Let stand for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse the rice with cold water. Drain.

Sort and rinse lentils. Place lentils in a small saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until almost tender. Drain.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion and ginger to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Add carrot and cardamom; sauté 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Add rice, lentils, rind, juice, salt, and pepper. Combine broth and saffron; stir until saffron is dissolved. Add saffron mixture to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until rice is almost tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in spinach. Remove from heat. Cover with a towel; place lid over towel. Let stand 10 minutes.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add almonds; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Sprinkle almonds over chicken mixture.

CALORIES 601(19% from fat); FAT 12.7g (sat 2.2g,mono 6.1g,poly 2.8g); PROTEIN 40.1g; CHOLESTEROL 96mg; CALCIUM 119mg; SODIUM 837mg; FIBER 14.5g; IRON 7.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 85.8g

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