Cooking a meal that lasts for more than a day and doesn’t cost a fortune can be a challenge. Cooking a meal that ticks all these boxes and is extremely delicious raises the bar. That is why we are excited to post this recipe of a dish that has all the best qualities, is healthy and will make you want to refill your plate the Plov.
The Plov is a dish that brings back the feeling of home as it is a popular meal to cook in Latvia and has the roots of Russian cuisine. Originally the dish is prepared in a thick, heavy bottomed pot called ‘kazan‘ as Plov is a common dish in Uzbekistan. Plov is cooked in a high temperature therefore cast-iron pot works best. For this recipe I used a regular pot that I had on hand and dropped the temperature, but if you are lucky enough to own a ‘kazan’ this is the time to put it to good use.
Prepare yourself for at least 2 good hours in the kitchen and lets get to the recipe.
- 2 large onions
- 1 whole garlic head
- 3 cups parboiled rice
- 8-10 large carrots
- 500g chicken fillet
- coconut or any other high temperature smoking point oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
Before you start with the recipe, prepare your rice. Wash it thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear and store it in a bowl with cold water.
Now it is time to prepare the chicken. Cut the fillet into bite-sized pieces and season heavily with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken pieces in a generous amount of vegetable oil until golden brown on a medium to high heat.
Dice the 2 large onions and add to the chicken. Cook until the onion becomes transparent (around 10 minutes).
While the onion and chicken is cooking, peel your carrots and use a medium sized grater. I like to cut come carrots into small, 3cm long pieces, which will caramelise in the cooking process and bring a divine taste and texture to the dish. Add the shredded and cut carrots to the onion and chicken mixture, mix all together and cook for 15 more minutes.
Now it is time to add boiling water to the pot. Add more salt, pepper, throw in a couple of bay leaves and cleaned garlic cloves. This mixture will be the base flavour of your dish so make sure to taste it, add more spices if necessary. Remember that the flavour should be stronger than you want the end result to be. Rice, that we will add a the end will soak up this flavour and it will loose some of its richness. More is more!
Now is the crucial moment that will either make or brake your dish. DO NOT TOUCH IT. Leave the mixture as it is for about 45 next minutes. Do not stir, move or touch it until you get to the result as pictured below. This step is ridiculously important so make sure to leave the kitchen and let the flavours do their magic.
Once the time has passed and your flavours are ready, add the rice that has been soaking for the past hour. Drain the rice and place it carefully on top of the mixture as if it is a blanket. Crank up the heat and cover everything with another batch of boiling water so it covers the rice for about 1cm.
Again, do not stir or mix anything and leave this to do its magic until almost all liquid is gone. It is not ready if you see bubbling on top or bottom. It is just right when the contents start looking dry. This will take you around 30 more minutes.
If you are not using a heavy bottomed pot, I would suggest to make holes through the mixture as pictured below to check the bottom of the pot. You don’t want the bottom to burn and this highly depends on your pot of choice and the stove you use.
If you see that the bottom is getting darker than needed, go for it and mix everything together. I like to still keep everything cooking until all the liquid is gone, but mixing it once in a while to keep it from burning.
When the dish has reached the consistency of your choice (some like to leave a little liquid and some like it completely dry so it’s up to you) your dish is ready for plating.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. This has definitely become one of our favourites in the house-hold as an affordable, relatively quick meal of choice.
Enjoy and write below if you have any suggestions or any step is unclear.