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Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce #SundaySupper

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Welcome to another Sunday Supper – our theme this week? Regional Specialties. Of where we currently live. Since moving last summer, I only barely live in New Jersey (I can literally see NYC from my outside my building), so I’m calling upon my nearly nine years living in Queens for this week’s recipe.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Queens is a very large and very diverse borough/county, and I lived in a particularly diverse neighborhood. Unlike some parts of Queens (i.e. Astoria, Jackson Heights, etc.) it was hard to pin down a predominant ethnicity in my area. But if I had to do so, I’d say it was Middle Eastern. We had two grocery stores within blocks of each other that featured halal meat sections, and a couple of halal street carts, which are also abundant all over Manhattan.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

This is the typical meal you get from those halal street vendors. Spiced buttery rice topped with chopped chicken thighs, doused with a delicious yet mystifyingly simple white sauce, and dotted with harissa if you want it spicy. Shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes always adorn it on the side. It’s SO New York.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

And this homemade version is hands down, the absolute best I’ve ever tasted. As Matt put it, “you’ve now ruined halal carts for me.” So bottom line, wherever you live, you must, must try this recipe, because it is unbelievably delicious. Enjoy!

Halal Cart Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

And don’t forget to check out the regional fare from the rest of my Sunday Supper crew! We’re from all over the place so this should be quite fun!

Source: Serious Eats, recipe by Kenji Lopez-Alt

Ingredients:

CHICKEN:
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (6 to 8 thighs)
1 tbs vegetable or canola oil

RICE:
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice
3 scant cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

WHITE SAUCE:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs white vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
Romaine or iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 large tomato, cut into wedges, or cherry tomatoes halved
Harissa-style hot sauce

Directions:
For the CHICKEN: Combine the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, and olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season the marinade to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the chicken in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag and add half of the marinade (reserve the remaining marinade in the refrigerator). Turn the chicken to coat, seal the bag, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours, turning occasionally to redistribute the marinade. Do not marinate the chicken longer than 4 hours or it will turn mushy.

Remove the chicken from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Season with kosher salt and pepper, going heavy on the pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat until it is lightly smoking. Add the chicken pieces and cook without disturbing until they are lightly browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the center of each thigh registers 165°F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary, as you don’t want to crowd the pan and steam the chicken. You want them well-browned.

Roughly chop the chicken into 1/2- to 1/4-inch chunks. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the remaining marinade, cover loosely with plastic, and refrigerate while you cook the rice and prepare the sauce.

For the RICE: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the turmeric and cumin and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is lightly toasted. Add the chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to low, and cook for 15-18 minutes without disturbing. Remove from the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

For the WHITE SAUCE: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 tsp black pepper. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt.

To SERVE: Return the entire contents of the chicken bowl (chicken, marinade, and all juices) to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. To serve, divide the rice, lettuce, and tomato evenly among four to six plates. Pile the chicken on top of the rice. Top with the white sauce and hot sauce, if desired. Serve immediately, passing extra sauce at the table.

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Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

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