Lebanese Chicken and Rice

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This traditional Lebanese Chicken and Rice is the definition of comfort food. Flavorful, seasoned rice mixed with tender shredded chicken and golden pine nuts and topped with roasted almonds!

Lebanese chicken and rice also known as riz bi djaj, djaj a riz is the pure meaning to Lebanese comfort food.

Lebanese Chicken and Rice also known as Riz w Djej is made on almost every large Lebanese special occasion, from family gatherings to holidays or birthday parties and placed on the center of the table! Rice and chicken is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and every culture makes it differently. Some add ground beef to the mixture; however, the recipe that I grew up on only includes chicken. 

There is nothing like Chicken and Rice for Dinner. Having grown up with it, watching my grandmother, my mother make it, and now being able to share it with my family is a pleasure. It’s special. Not to mention, super yummy! 

 
If you love Lebanese food and looking for an easy Lebanese recipe, Lebanese chicken and rice is a must try!
 

What Kind of Chicken is Used in Lebanese Chicken and Rice Recipe

 I think that the secret to a good Chicken and Rice recipe is in the chicken. Using chicken thighs and legs is the key, as they tend to be much more moist and tender than chicken breasts. You can always mix it up too! Also, always reserve the chicken broth to use it later when cooking your rice. 

What kind of Rice is Used in Roz a Djej

I like to use long grain rice such as Uncle Bens in this recipe, because I love the texture of it and because you can almost never over cook it. No matter what, it will always turn out great. The ratio of rice to chicken broth is about 2-2.5 cups of broth for every 1 cup of rice. However, you can use basmati or short grain rice if you’d like, just keep in mind that it will take less time and less chicken broth to cook. 

How to Make Lebanese Chicken and Rice: 

Prepare the Chicken: 

  • Begin by washing your chicken legs and thighs, then place in a large pot over medium high heat and add enough water to cover the chicken completely. 
  • Bring chicken to a boil, skim excessive fat that rises on top, using a large spoon. 
  • Add bay leaves if available and cinnamon sticks for extra flavor. 
  • Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer, until the chicken is fork tender and cooked through. This will take about 30-40 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Once chicken is cooled enough to handle, shred into coarse chucks. Set aside. 
  • Reserve chicken broth for cooking the rice. 

Prepare the Rice: 

  • Rinse your rice very well until the water runs clear, drain and set aside. 
  • Place a medium size pot over medium heat, heat butter and the pine nuts. Stirring constantly until pine nuts turn light brown in color.

  • Add the rinsed rice, salt, ground cinnamon and all spice and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes. 

  • Cover rice completely with the reserved chicken broth (about 4- 5 cups) and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer until the rice is fully cooked, around 25 mins.

Prepare the Nuts Topping: 

I used shredded almonds, but you can use any other kind of nuts such as cashews. 

  • Place small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil for couple minutes. 
  • Add the almonds and stir constantly, until golden brown. This will take around 4 minutes. Set aside.

Assemble the dish by placing the rice on a large serving platter, topped with a layer of coarse shredded chicken and then sprinkle with almonds on top.

The final result? A flavorful and tasty Chicken and Rice dish. And a wonderful smelling house! 

I sure hope you enjoy it as much as we do and that it brings you a measure of comfort too.

Lebanese chicken and rice or riz a djaj.

What to Serve with Lebanese Rice and Chicken:

Serve riz a djej with your favorite salad, it is really good paired with Fattoush salad or Tabouli. 

More Lebanese Chicken Recipes?

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Tawook

Chicken Soup With Vegetables

Chicken and Rice Recipe

Yield: 6-8

Lebanese Chicken and Rice

If you are looking for Lebanese chicken recipes, you will love this Lebanese chicken and rice recipe.

Lebanese Chicken and Rice also known as Riz w Djaj is made on almost every large Lebanese special occasion, from family gatherings to holidays or birthday parties and placed on the center of the table! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 5 cups water- for boiling the chicken
  • 1-2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • Few bay leaves- if available

For the rice

For Almond Topping

  • ½ cup raw sliced almonds 
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Prepare the Chicken:

  1. Begin by washing your chicken legs and thighs, then place in a large pot over medium high heat and add enough water to cover the chicken completely. 
  2. Bring chicken to a boil, skim excessive fat that rises on top, using a large spoon. 
  3. Add bay leaves if available and cinnamon stick for extra flavor. 
  4. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer on, until the chicken is fork tender and cooked through. This will take about 30-40 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and let cool. Once chicken is cooled enough to handle, shred into coarse chucks. Set aside. 
  6. Reserve chicken broth for cooking the rice. 

Prepare the Rice: 

  1. Rinse your rice very well until the water runs clear, drain and set aside. 
  2. Place a medium size pot over medium heat, heat butter and the pine nuts. Stirring constantly until pine nuts turn light brown in color. 
  3. Add the rinsed rice, salt, ground cinnamon and all spice and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes. 
  4. Cover rice with the reserved chicken broth (about 4- 5 cups) and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer until the rice is fully cooked, around 25 mins. Add another half a cup of chicken broth to the rice and cook longer, if it dries out before the rice is fully cooked.

Prepare the Almond Topping: 

  1. Place small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil for couple minutes. 
  2. Add the almonds and stir constantly, until golden brown. This will take around 4 minutes. Set aside.

To Serve: 

  1. Place the rice on a large serving plate, top with a layer coarse shredded chicken and then sprinkle with fried almonds. 
  2. Serve with your Fattoush or plain yogurt.  
  3. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 265mgSodium: 1070mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 52g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

If you like this Lebanese Chicken and Rice recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! You can also follow and tag me on my Instagram page! 

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