Pilaf has many variations. This Turkish version gains flavor from popcorn-scented basmati rice and fresh dill. Don't stir the rice as it simmers; doing so makes it gummy. Use leftover meat from a roasted chicken, or pick up a rotisserie chicken from your supermarket.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 cup diced plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in rice, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, tomato, salt, broth, and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in chicken. Sprinkle evenly with walnuts and dill. Discard cinnamon stick.
In my version I added another cup of water (like above said..) and the cooking time was spot on!! I also added some baby portabella mushrooms, and instead of the cinnamon stick just added some of the powdered version and seasoned the spinach(used frozen). Me and my husband as well as my 10 month old loved it. Next time I am going to use just a bit less chicken and add more mushrooms. The rice itself, when done, lends itself for any combination you like, maybe all vegetarian, just add anything you have available and I am sure it will be delicious!!
This was great & so easy. My friend & I had a casual weeknight dinner & we both loved this. Will definitely make it again.
My changes (out of necessity): I cut up and sauteed a chicken breast instead of using roast chicken, didn't have a cinnamon stick so used powdered (turned it a brownish color but still tasted delicious), left out the walnuts, and took another reviewer's advice & pre-sauteed the spinach.
Rice definitely needed more liquid & time. Was crunchy when I followed the recipe. Added more broth & some water - came out perfectly.
This was a great tasting dish. The only problem was the rice was crunchy. I will definitely have to let it cook longer next time I make it. I will make it again the flavors were so good. The cinnamon was perfect and the only other spice was salt. Really good recipe. I would probably also saute the spinach with cooking spray and some salt and pepper before adding it into the dish to give it alittle depth. It was just kind of there.
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