Barberry Rice and Chicken, from Orchid Restaurant, Willoughby. You know it's good when you ask the restaurant for the recipe! Barberries are the stars in this dish, with their sweet-yet-tangy unique flavour.
Dissolve 1 tablespoon salt in cold water and add the rice. There should be enough water to rise 1-2cm above the rice.
Cover and let soak for about 6 hours. At the end of that period pour the brine out and rinse the soaked rice with cold water.
In a separate pot, dissolve 1 tablespoon salt in 2 litres water and bring to boil. Carefully pour the rice in and cook for five minutes.
Empty the pot into a strainer and gently pour some cold water through the rice to wash the hot water away. Let cold water drain out.
Warm a clean pot and spread 1 tablespoon oil on the base, then slowly add the rice to make a heap.
Add a tablespoon of oil to half a glass of cold water and spread over rice. Let cook for 20 minutes over a mild to medium heat.
For the barberries:
Thoroughly wash the barberries with cold water and strain.
Mix the barberries with 2 tablespoons of oil, almonds, sugar and the ground saffron.
Preheat a non-stick pan and roast the barberry mix over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Remove from pan and cover.
For the chicken:
Thinly slice the onion and fry with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until lightly golden.
Add chicken pieces, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. Gently fry until all sides are golden.
Add a glass of water to the mix and let chicken cook for about 10-15 minutes on very low heat until 3/4 of the water has evaporated and the chicken is tender.
The remaining onion sauce will be used later over the rice.
Spread half of the rice in a large plate, place chicken pieces on top.
Spread a few spoons of the remaining onion sauce on the rice and chicken.
Mix the remaining plain rice with the barberry mix and spread on top of the rest of the rice and chicken.
Serve hot and enjoy!
Yes, the recipe is long, and yes, you need plenty of time to do all the steps. But some of the really good things in life are the result of a little effort and patience, and sometimes it's just worth taking the time.