This pilaf is creamy and delicious and packed with flavor. Serve with any main meat dish, or your favorite Greek kabobs, and you'll be in for a treat!
- 4 1⁄2 lbs roasting chickens, cut in pieces
- 6 cups water
- 1 whole lemon, well washed
- 8 1⁄2 cups hot water
- 4 1⁄2 cups long-grain rice or 4 1⁄2 cups orzo pasta
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 -4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 6 cups baby spinach leaves, torn into small pieces
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill
- 15 kalamata olives, diced
- 1 -2 cup feta, depending on how much you like
- To Make Chicken Stock:.
- In a large pot add the chicken, whole lemon, and 8 cups of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook for 1 hour, until the chicken is very tender.
- Remove chicken from the pot, and set aside. (Chicken can be frozen to use at another time).
- Skim fat off stock. When the stock cools sufficiently, strain into a bowl.
- To Make Rice: (use 4.5 cups of the chicken stock).
- Measure out 4 1/2 cups of the stock, and pour into a large pot. Add 8 cups of hot (tap) water, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- When the rice/orzo starts to boil, add the rice/orzo, and stir frequently to keep from sticking.
- When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- In The Meantime:.
- In a small skillet, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over high heat, until it sizzles.
- Lift the cover to the rice, and quickly pour in the hot butter and close the cover quickly, as it will spatter.
- When the sizzling stops (a few seconds), remove the cover, and stir briefly. Remove from heat.
- Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.
- The pilaf is supposed to be smooth and creamy, and slightly mushy.
- To Prepare Other Rice Ingredients to add to rice once it is cooked:.
- In a large frying pan pour olive oil, then add onions, and saute over medium heat, until just softened.
- Add the garlic, mint, and pepper. Saute for about 2 more minutes.
- Add spinach, lemon juice, tomatoes, dill, and tomatoes. Cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add to rice, and mix.
- Just before serving add Feta cheese.
- Note: Add more lemon, if needed at serving time.
This was very yummy - I have a similar recipe posted, but this one will replace mine. :) I did cut the recipe in half using orzo, and we still have plenty of leftovers. We ate this pretty much as a main dish, DH and the kids also had some leftover chicken. A couple suggestions, or things I will do differently next time: I make my own stock anyway, and I'd probably use more stock than water when cooking the orzo to bring out the flavor from the chicken. Also, I'll just plop the butter onto the hot orzo rather than melting it in a separate pan. Also, I'll increase the amount of tomatoes, spinach, and especially olives as a family preference. Overall a big winner, thanks!