Chicken with Caramelised Onion & Cardamom Rice

Chicken with Caramelised Onion & Cardamom Rice (Adapted from ‘Jerusalem’ by Yotam Ottolenghi)

  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Barberries (or Currants, Sour Cherries & Cranberries)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/4 lb/1kg Chicken Thighs
  • 10 Cardamom Pods
  • 1/4 tsp ground Cloves
  • 2 Long Cinnamon Sticks, broken in two
  • 1 2/3 cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 1/2 cups Boiling Water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Parsley and Dill
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Greek Yoghurt mixed with 2 tbsp Olive Oil (optional)
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper


  1. Put the sugar in a small saucepan with 40ml of water and heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, add the barberries and set aside to soak. If using currants you do not need to soak them in this way.
  2. Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 10-15mins, stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned a deep golden brown. Transfer the onion to a bowl and wipe the pan clean.
  3. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and season with 1 & 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and black pepper (I found this to be a lot of salt. Next time I’ll go for about 3/4 tsp of salt). Add the remaining olive oil, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and use your hands to mix everything together well. Heat your frying pan again and place the chicken and spices inside. Sear for 7 mins on each side and remove from the pan (this is important as it part-cooks the chicken). The spices can stay in the pan but don’t worry if they stick to the chicken. Remove most of the remaining oil as well, leaving just a bit at the bottom. Add the rice, caramelised onion, 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Strain the barberries and add them as well. Stir well and return the seared chicken, pushing it into the rice.
  4. Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan and cook on a very low heat for 30 minutes (I will try for 40-45 minutes next time). Take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and quickly place a clean tea towel over the pan and seal again with the lid. Leave the dish undisturbed for another 10 mins.
  5. Finally, add the herbs and use a fork to stir them in and fluff up the rice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot or warm with yoghurt if you like.


  1. Albatz Gallery & Blog

    Wish I had this recipe yesterday – Al decided I had to do something with the chicken breasts in the fridge! I went through a dozen recipes but the only one that met his approval was a Chicken Curry recipe modified from our cooking class in India. I haven’t posted it yet – it seems I have to make everything at least three times until I get it the way I like it – and even though this was the third time the first time (in India) doesn’t count as I had to substitute a lot of ingredients. Isn’t cardanom expensive!!!


  2. dishnthekitchen

    yes, but it is is sooo worth it. I love cardamom.
    I personally would not use chicken breasts but that’s just because I hardly ever buy them. I find thighs more flavourful. That said, I’m a hypocrite. I cooked breasts last night!!
    If you don’t have ‘Jerusalem’ yet. Go out and buy it. You will not be disappointed. Yes, there may be some hard to find ingredients and the recipes are long-ish but they are essentially quite simple. I do find them overly salty, so I’ve learned to put less in.


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