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In Galilee, chicken, rice and vegetables are transformed into a one-pot feast
Milk Street Bowtie Palestinian Upside-Down Chicken and Rice (Maqlubeh)

Palestinian Upside-Down Chicken and Rice (Maqlubeh)

2 hours 30 minutes active, plus resting

Palestinian Upside-Down Chicken and Rice (Maqlubeh)

Free

Maqlubeh translates from the Arabic as “upside down,” which describes how this traditional mulitlayered rice dish is served. Though our streamlined recipe still requires a small investment in ingredients and prep, the work mostly is front-loaded and produces a one-pot dish impressive enough for a special occasion. For proper cooking, it’s important to use a pot 9½ to 11 inches in diameter and 4 to 6 inches deep. After searing and removing the chicken, we line the bottom of the pot with a parchment round to guarantee that the rice, which forms a crisp, browned bottom layer, does not stick when the pot is inverted for serving. If you prefer, you can serve directly from the pot, but we still recommend lining the bottom of the pot with parchment. The classic accompaniment for maqlubeh is a tomato, cucumber and yogurt salad.

2 cups basmati rice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
⅓ cup slivered almonds
8 ounces cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)
8 medium garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ medium eggplant (about 8 ounces), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
Ingredients
  • 2

    cups basmati rice

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed

  • 4

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • cup slivered almonds

  • 8

    ounces cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted

  • 4

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1

    tablespoon ground allspice

  • 2

    teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 1

    teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • ½

    medium eggplant (about 8 ounces), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds

  • 1

    quart low-sodium chicken broth

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large bowl, combine the rice and 2 tablespoons salt. Add water to cover by 1 inch, then set aside. Have ready a lidded pot that measures 9½ to 11 inches in diameter and 4 to 6 inches deep. Cut 2 rounds of kitchen parchment the size of the pot.
  2. 02
    Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Set the pot over medium and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken skin down and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Remove the pot from heat. Place 1 parchment round on the bottom, then turn to coat it with fat.
  3. 03
    Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the parchment-lined pot, then sprinkle evenly with the almonds. Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer, then rinse under cool running water and drain again. Scatter 1 cup of the rice in a thin, even layer over the almonds. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining rice with the cauliflower, garlic, butter, cumin, allspice, turmeric, nutmeg and 1¾ teaspoons each salt and pepper. Reserve ½ cup of this mixture, then distribute the remainder in an even layer in the pot.
  4. 04
    Place the chicken in the pot, slightly nestling the pieces into the rice-cauliflower layer; discard any accumulated juices. Shingle the eggplant slices over the chicken in an even layer. Sprinkle with the reserved ½ cup rice.
  5. 05
    Pour the broth into the pot (it will not fully cover the eggplant), then bring to a boil over medium-high. Set the second parchment round over the food, the cover the pot with the lid. Cook for 5 minutes, reduce to low and cook, undisturbed, for 35 minutes.
  6. 06
    Remove the pot from the heat, uncover and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment, then invert a serving platter onto the pot. Holding the platter against the pot, carefully invert the two together; leave the pot overturned on the platter and let rest for about 10 minutes. Slowly lift off the pot and, if needed, remove and discard the parchment.
    See Demo
    palestinian-chicken-rice-maqlubeh-6
Tip: Don’t forget to soak and rinse the rice. This helps the grains cook up light and separate.
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Palestinian Upside-Down Chicken and Rice (Maqlubeh)

Get Ready to Cook

8

Servings

2 hours

30 minutes active, plus resting

Tip

Don’t forget to soak and rinse the rice. This helps the grains cook up light and separate.

Ingredients
  • 2

    cups basmati rice

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed

  • 4

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • cup slivered almonds

  • 8

    ounces cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted

  • 4

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1

    tablespoon ground allspice

  • 2

    teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 1

    teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • ½

    medium eggplant (about 8 ounces), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds

  • 1

    quart low-sodium chicken broth

Step 1 of 6

Soak Rice

2
cups basmati rice
2
tablespoons kosher salt

In a large bowl, combine the rice and 2 tablespoons salt. Add water to cover by 1 inch, then set aside.


Have ready a lidded pot that measures 9½ to 11 inches in diameter and 4 to 6 inches deep. Cut 2 rounds of kitchen parchment the size of the pot.

Step 2 of 6

Brown Chicken

pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Set the pot over medium and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken skin down and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.


Transfer to a plate and set aside. Remove the pot from heat. Place 1 parchment round on the bottom, then turn to coat it with fat.

Step 3 of 6

Combine Ingredients

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
cup slivered almonds
8
ounces cauliflower florets (1-inch pieces)
8
medium garlic cloves, chopped
4
tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted
1
tablespoon ground allspice
2
teaspoons ground turmeric
1
teaspoon grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the parchment-lined pot, then sprinkle evenly with the almonds. Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer, then rinse under cool running water and drain again.


Scatter 1 cup of the rice in a thin, even layer over the almonds. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining rice with the cauliflower, garlic, butter, cumin, allspice, turmeric, nutmeg and 1¾ teaspoons each salt and pepper.


Reserve ½ cup of this mixture, then distribute the remainder in an even layer in the pot.

Step 4 of 6

Add Eggplant

½
medium eggplant (about 8 ounces), sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds

Place the chicken in the pot, slightly nestling the pieces into the rice-cauliflower layer; discard any accumulated juices.


Shingle the eggplant slices over the chicken in an even layer. Sprinkle with the reserved ½ cup rice.

Step 5 of 6

Add Broth

1
quart low-sodium chicken broth

Pour the broth into the pot (it will not fully cover the eggplant), then bring to a boil over medium-high.


Set the second parchment round over the food, the cover the pot with the lid. Cook for 5 minutes, reduce to low and cook, undisturbed, for 35 minutes.

Step 6 of 6

Finish and Serve

Remove the pot from the heat, uncover and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment, then invert a serving platter onto the pot.


Holding the platter against the pot, carefully invert the two together; leave the pot overturned on the platter and let rest for about 10 minutes.


Slowly lift off the pot and, if needed, remove and discard the parchment.

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Palestinian Upside-Down Chicken and Rice (Maqlubeh)

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