Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice

Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice
One of the easiest Middle Eastern recipes to make is rice and chicken. I’ve already mentioned a few times how Middle Eastern cooking is very plain – rarely any sauce, basic ingredients required. This recipe is no exception. The ingredients are very simple: chicken, rice, peas, nuts, yogurt and thin noodles, which can be optional if you are having a hard time finding it.

Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice

You can usually find these noodles at any Middle Eastern grocery store – sometimes Asian food stores will also carry them. You can see the brand I used above. The noodle adds a bit of color to your rice and a very mild flavor. Growing up, my mom would put it in every rice dish we ate and even though I leave it out in my rice dishes, I do like to add it for authenticity when it comes to Middle Eastern foods.

Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice

Just like the variations in recipes across the USA (i.e. Chicago pizza vs NY pizza), this chicken and rice recipe is not a representation of all chicken and rice recipes emanating from the Middle East. Just from the area my family came from. Though the Middle East is clumped together as one unit, there are many different variations in not only language dialects, religion and dress but also in food.

Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice

This is a great meal for those who want to dabble in Middle Eastern cooking but don’t want something that is totally foreign in flavor or difficult to make – the ingredients by themselves are very American.

And who doesn’t like chicken and rice?

Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice
Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice

1 lb chicken (you can use chicken breasts or a mix of thigh/drumsticks)

2 T butter
1 round nest of thin noodles, broken up (optional; omit for gluten free meal)
2 c jasmine or basmati rice
4 c chicken broth 

1/2 c frozen peas, steamed

2 T butter
1/4 c pistachios
1/4 c almonds, slivered

Yogurt, optional ( homemade yogurt )

Place chicken in a pot with at least 5 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper. Boil until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and reserve chicken broth. Set aside. 

Melt 2T butter in a separate saucepan on med-high heat. Add noodles and sauté for 2minutes, stirring frequently to ensure that the noodles do not burn. Add rice and stir. Sauté rice for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until rice turns a light golden tone in some areas. Quickly add 4c of the chicken broth. Stir. Once rice begins to boil again, turn to low and cover for about 30 minutes or until broth is fully absorbed.

While rice is cooking, in a skillet on med-high heat, melt 1T butter. Add nuts and sauté for 1-2 minutes until nuts turn golden. Stir frequently and take care that the nuts do not burn. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl. Cover. 

Shred chicken. In the same skillet on med-high heat, melt the last 1T butter. Add chicken and sauté 2-3 minutes until chicken is covered with butter and has a nice aroma. Set aside. 

Place rice in a serving platter and add peas. Mix gently. Layer chicken over and then top with nuts. 

*If serving with yogurt, you can choose to serve yogurt on the side or place over the chicken. 

Middle Eastern Recipe for chicken, nuts and rice


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  1. I love the thin noodles mixed in with the rice! What a great idea! This reminds me a bit of my Mom’s tangy creamed turkey, except healthier, so I know I would love it!

  2. This look delicious and totally easy. I think I even have everything (except the optional noodles). And I love how often I see peas in your Middle Eastern recipes. I love love love frozen peas and always have t hem on hand. THey add such color and I love their slightly sweet flavor!!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  3. Everytime I see your recipe posts it makes me want to cook! and it makes me really hungry.
    Happy Almost Friday!!


  4. I love how such a complex seeming dish only has a few ingredients. Thanks for sharing!

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