Middle Eastern Rice Bowl
My sister Maria makes this dish in memory of our Grandma Betar’s cooking. As children, we loved Grandma Betar and her wonderful Middle Eastern cooking.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 boxes Near East brand rice pilaf mix (6 ounces each)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 2 cups store-bought hummus, for serving (optional)
- 1 bag pita chips, for serving (optional)
- Trimmed scallions, for serving (optional)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips, for serving (optional)
- Cucumber sticks or disks, for serving (optional)
- Heat a medium size pot over medium heat; add EVOO and butter. When butter has melted into EVOO, add pieces of chicken tenders. A grown-up helper (GH) can chop the chicken tenders for you if you are not comfortable enough with your knife yet. Remember: all fingers should be tucked under; keep knife blade tilted away from your body; use a knife that matches your size and skill level. Wash your hands, knife and cutting board after handling raw chicken pieces.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken, stirring, until lightly browned.
- Add the rice pilaf and cook another minute or two.
- Add chicken stock. You do not need to use the seasoning packets included in the rice mix; you’ll get your own flavor from cooking the rice in chicken stock.
- Put a lid on the pot and raise the heat to high to bring the stock to a quick boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Take off the lid and stir in cinnamon, parsley and almonds. Serve rice in bowls with veggies, pita chips and hummus on the side.