Maqlubeh Rice

  • 2

    CUPS BASMATI RICE

  • KOSHER SALT AND GROUND BLACK PEPPER

  • POUNDS BONE-IN, SKIN-ON CHICKEN THIGHS, TRIMMED

  • 4

    TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, DIVIDED

  • CUP SLIVERED ALMONDS

  • 8

    OUNCES CAULIFLOWER FLORETS (1-INCH PIECES)

  • 8

    MEDIUM GARLIC CLOVES, CHOPPED

  • 4

    TABLESPOONS (½ STICK) SALTED BUTTER, MELTED

  • 4

    TEASPOONS GROUND CUMIN

  • 1

    TABLESPOON GROUND ALLSPICE

  • 2

    TEASPOONS GROUND TURMERIC

  • 1

    TEASPOON GRATED NUTMEG

  • ½

    MEDIUM EGGPLANT (ABOUT 8 OUNCES), SLICED INTO ¼-INCH-THICK ROUNDS

  • 1

    QUART LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH

 

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In a large bowl, combine the rice and 2 tablespoons salt. Add water to cover by 1 inch, then set aside.

Have ready a lidded pot that measures 9½ to 11 inches in diameter and 4 to 6 inches deep. Cut 2 rounds of kitchen parchment the size of the pot.

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Set the pot over medium and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken skin down and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a plate and set aside. Remove the pot from heat. Place 1 parchment round on the bottom, then turn to coat it with fat.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the parchment-lined pot, then sprinkle evenly with the almonds. Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer, then rinse under cool running water and drain again.

Scatter 1 cup of the rice in a thin, even layer over the almonds. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining rice with the cauliflower, garlic, butter, cumin, allspice, turmeric, nutmeg and 1¾ teaspoons each salt and pepper.

Reserve ½ cup of this mixture, then distribute the remainder in an even layer in the pot.

Place the chicken in the pot, slightly nestling the pieces into the rice-cauliflower layer; discard any accumulated juices.

Shingle the eggplant slices over the chicken in an even layer. Sprinkle with the reserved ½ cup rice.

Pour the broth into the pot (it will not fully cover the eggplant), then bring to a boil over medium-high.

Set the second parchment round over the food, the cover the pot with the lid. Cook for 5 minutes, reduce to low and cook, undisturbed, for 35 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, uncover and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment, then invert a serving platter onto the pot.

Holding the platter against the pot, carefully invert the two together; leave the pot overturned on the platter and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Slowly lift off the pot and, if needed, remove and discard the parchment.