Chicken Rice Pilaf

Chef Asha Gomez calls her chicken pilaf a "one-dish wonder." You can swap out the spices, adding a little cinnamon or ginger in place of the star anise.

Chicken Rice Pilaf
Photo: © Tara Fisher
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 1/4 cup ghee (see Note)

  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 6 cardamom pods, cracked

  • 3 star anise

  • Salt

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch dice

  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice

  • Golden or green raisins

  • chopped cilantro

  • chopped toasted almonds, for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the ghee. Add the onion, cardamom, star anise and a big pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook over moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring to coat it with the aromatics.

  2. Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the rice and return to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steam, covered, for 15 minutes.

  3. Fluff the pilaf with a fork and season with salt. Transfer to a bowl, discarding the cardamom and star anise. Garnish with raisins, chopped cilantro and chopped toasted almonds and serve.


The Indian cooking fat ghee is available at specialty food stores. Alternatively, you can make it by slowly heating butter and skimming off the milk solids on top.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, full-bodied Rhône white wine.

Related Articles