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Sautéed Chicken with Tomato Pilaf (Tavuk Ve Domatesli Pilav)

Claudia Roden

by Claudia Roden from Arabesque

This mouthwatering tomato pilaf with sautéed chicken kebabs hails from Claudia Roden's Arabesque cookbook. The sweet but sharp sumac adds an extra level to the dish.

From the book

Claudia Roden


Sautéed chicken kebabs are more tender and juicy than the grilled ones on skewers which are served in kebab houses. Accompany these with tomato pilaf and a yoghurt and cucumber salad. The dark wine-red spice called sumac lends a sharp lemony taste to the chicken.

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4 boned and skinned chicken fillets, breast or thigh
1 tbsp sunflower oil
35g butter
salt and black pepper
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, quartered, to garnish, or sumac
For the tomato pilaf:
300g long-grain or basmati rice
500g ripe tomatoes, peeled
1 chicken stock cube
2 tsp sugar
salt and black pepper
75g butter

Essential kit

You will need a food processor.


Start by making the tomato pilaf. Wash the rice by pouring cold water over it in a bowl, stir well and leave to soak for a few minutes, then strain and rinse under cold water.

Quarter the tomatoes, remove the hard white bits near the stem end, then liquefy in a food processor. Measure the resulting tomato juice and add enough water to make it up to 650ml. Pour it into a pan, add the crumbled stock cube, the sugar and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil.

Add the rice and stir well. Simmer, covered, over a low heat, for 18-20 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed. Do not stir during the cooking, but add a little extra water if it becomes too dry. Fold in the butter, cut into small pieces. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.

While the rice is cooking, cut the chicken into pieces of about 3.5cm. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and sauté the chicken for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned, turning the pieces over once. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley and serve with lemon quarters or with sumac to sprinkle over, accompanied by the rice.

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