Halal Cart Chicken and Rice with a Spicy Yogurt Spicy Garlic Sauce
Well two things. There seems to be a trend on Halal Food Truck Faves. I mean completely aware of "The Halal Guys" fame out of the streets of NYC. And them branching out across the US. One opened here in San Jose but I would bet hard money they are nothing like the original out of NYC. Anyway the second part of my story does have a journey. I am doing the AVON39 Walk for Breast Cancer in July, 2017 in San Francisco. 30 something days away and I STILL have not met my minimum goal. I mean it's hell to raise money these days when many are giving their pocket change to the upcoming 2018 election. An unfortunately I don't know anyone of those Repubs who give millions for the hell of it. So we had to come up with inexpensive options that had a decent return with some elbow grease. My friend who is a great baker and dessert maker has been helping me with gorgeous desserts. And then one of our fans of her product challenged me to come up with some items for the month of Ramadan. My friends is doing desserts and I came across this little ditty of a recipe on Pinterest and gave it a try. Hot damn it's a keeper! Considering the cost for the ingredients when bought in bulk with some needing to be bought fresh, A total cost of around $7.00 and asking $20 for a pan that feeds 6. I did ask though are you expecting Halal chicken or can I use organic. I was told sometimes it's to hard to be totally Halal or Kosher on the West Coast so be it! GOOD! But of course that does not apply to the rest of us:)
FOR THE CHICKEN
- One portioned packet of chicken thighs and one portion packet of drumsticks from Costco packs of Foster Farms Chicken. If not a big box bulk buyer about 3lbs total of chicken thighs and or drumsticks. Breasts could be used also, it's up to you. All the chicken should be SKINLESS. Drumsticks, just pull off the skin and toss.
- 2 heaping spoonfuls of dried oregano. I like the Mexican brands as more cost effective and stronger.
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Dried Granular Garlic Powder. Fresh can be used also but why make more work.
- 1/4 cup of Olive Oil. Lemon infused Olive Oil if you have it but if not, use what you have.
- Salt and Pepper.
- Juice of one Lemon.
FOR THE RICE
- Three cups of Basmati Rice. "Hint" If you are lucky enough to have and Indian Grocery Store, Middle East or even Chinese Grocery Store where you live, go buy a bag there. It's less expensive and the quality is good if not better where you can find extra super long Basmati's which is not common to the US.
- Half a stick of butter. Salted or unsalted, does not matter.
- One Spoonful of Tumeric Powder
- One Spoonful of Cumin Powder
- Two Red Bell Peppers Roasted, peeled and chopped or save time and buy a jar of Roasted Red Bell Peppers, drain WELL and chop. Set aside.
- 4 and 1/2 cups of liquid. Half chicken broth and half water or just use a large chicken bouillon cube like Maggi's.
- One Large Onion chopped (optional) but I like it to add a bit more toss and support to the rice appearance.
- Plain Yogurt
- Sour Creme (Optional)
- Harissa Paste if can Find it.
- One whole bulb of Garlic Baked and the Garlic Bulb Meat Squeezed out of the Bulb. Set Aside. If don't want to do that work just use a spoonful of Garlic Powder. Half if a fine powder.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS, TWO OF WHICH ARE NEEDED FOR THE RECIPE, OTHER TWO OPTIONAL
- Fresh Cilantro also known as Coriander. Yes folks in case you did not know Cilantro is Coriander and Coriander is Cilantro. Funny how that happened but a fact.
- Two Bunches more or less of Green Spring Onions. The Cilantro chopped and the Green Onions sliced at a diagonal will be garnish to your final dish before serving.
- Pan to Plate it Up. Take to a event or like me deliver to someone who is helping me raise money for Breast Cancer. I find the perfect size pan with a plastic cover lid at Dollar Tree for a $1 each set. Can't go wrong there!
- Plastic Squeeze Bottles for the Spicy Yogurt Garlic Sauce. I can find them here in Cali at Lucky's, Smart and Final and restaurant Supply Stores on the Cheap. BUT NOT NECESSARY. It was a nice touch needed for my delivery of pans of this dish to those who bought a pan.
THE SPICY GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE
- While you were prepping all your ingredients was the time to slice off the very upper most tip of your bulb of garlic. Drizzle with oil and bake in tight foil for about 40 minutes. Pull and cool, squeeze garlic bulb meat out.
- This part is another common sense move. Do you really need sour cream and yogurt. NO. I did a 50/50 ratio of each as what had on hand the first time and it came out great! It equaled about one large tub of plain yogurt. I had actual real deal Harissa from the mid East bought at a Mid East Store but found it a bit not the kick was expecting. So as I added it I began to add Sriracha for a fast spice kick.
- So on that note, throw your tub of yogurt, the large guy or whatever you have with whatever you have to rid of that leftover sour cream into the blender. Add those bulbs of roasted/baked garlic. THE WHOLE BULB of Roasted cloves. Heaping large spoon of Harissa and blend. When clearly blended down and taste. Like said depending on where you live and what you can find, options are endless. I added Sriracha for a kick and just kept adding either more kick or more Harissa until got it to what I thought people would like. When I got it to that taste where knew my peeps would approve, I blended until completely a cream sauce and then poured into my squeeze bottles.
FIRST MARINATE THE CHICKEN FOR NO MORE THAN 4 HOURS!! OR THE LEMON JUICE WILL START TO TURN IT INTO A CEVICHE.
- Mix your lemon juice, olive oil, garlic dried or chopped fresh if wish, dried oregano, coriander powder, salt, pepper and get it all over your chicken pieces. Let marinate in the refrigerator no longer than 4 hours. Or the lemon juice will start to try to pickle your chicken thus when cooked will give a not so desirable texture.
- Bake uncovered on 350 for 30 minutes.
- Turn up to 450 after 30 minutes and continue for ten more minutes to get a browning of the chicken.
- Pull after the additional 10 minutes on 450 and set to rest.
FOR THE RICE, MOST LIKELY YOU CAN START THE RICE THE MOMENT AFTER YOU PUT THE CHICKEN IN THE OVEN.
- Pull out your best non stick cooking 'pot'. The big one. Not major big but whatever you feel comfortable cooking 3 cups of rice in.
- Heat your pan to med-high. Drop in the half stick of butter with the Tumeric and Cumin Powder. Let it melt down and add your rice to mix in and let it brown for 3-5 minutes tossing often. Throw in the chopped onion if you wish to add. For me it adds a separation and lift for the rice and makes it fluffier but totally up to you. Salt and pepper about a teaspoonful of each.
- Add your liquid. Now here use your common sense. In Cali it's about 1.5 cups liquid to every cup of rice. It is probably different on the East Coast or lets say Colorado where Denver is a mile above Sea Level. Seasoned cooks will know what their liquid ratio to rice is. If I have brother will use half to the other half water. Or maybe I'll just boil some water and add a couple cubes of chicken bouillon and then when dissolved pour in the 4.5 cups of water need for my 3 cups of rice.
- Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Low for gas stoves or about 2 on a electric for 25 minutes. LIDDED AND DO NOT REMOVE THAT LID BEFORE 25 MINUTES!
You either did a couple of red bell peppers your roasted peeled and chopped yourself or WELL DRAINED and chopped a jar of roasted red bell peppers. Toss your rice as more steam will release and set aside.
Your chicken should have been pulled and set outside the oven by now. Take those thighs out of the pan and slice them. Depending on size you want sliced thigh that goes well with a bite of all you are adding to the dish. Drumsticks should just be pulled from the pan to set.
Grab your pan or large family serving dish.
- Throw in those roasted bell peppers and toss. Then put in your serving dish.
- Top with your sliced chicken thighs and place the drumsticks around the pile of chicken across the mid.
- Garnish with the chopped fresh Cilantro aka Coriander and Sliced fresh Green/Spring Onions. Whatever they call them in your local market:)
- Serve up with your side of spicy garlic sauce and you are good to go!
Happy to Report This Dish Was a Hit for Us in our Fundraising! Got to be could do it in my sleep!
Testimonial Below! haha
I've made and sold over 15 pans of this dish already.
I can make it in my sleep now and pre make bottles of sauce to have on hand!
Hopefully I hit that minimum $1800 fundraising level by month end. I tell ya you really learn all about your friends and family when do something like this and just asking for anything. It's been tough but I'll do it!