Mary Jane Brodribb won our recipe competition with this exotic dish. She says:
This recipe was given to me by a great cook 2 weeks ago while I was in Istanbul. This was served to me on a roof terrace overlooking the Bosphorous and the Sea of Marmara – but a view of Sydney Harbour would be a good substitute!
Perdeli Rice Chicken
You will need:
3 fresh bay leaves
1 good sized onion
6 to 8 cloves
2 long celery stalks
3/4 of tablespoon parsley
1 chook – about 1.6kg
salt and ground black pepper
For the rice part:
1/2 litre of chicken stock
2 1/2 tablespoons quality olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
About 45 almonds blanched
40 grams unsalted butter
200 g rice, preferably long grain
3 to 4 sheets of prepared filo pastry
For the brush with egg:
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
Chop up the carrot, onion, celery and put with whole chook, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and parsley into lidded casserole dish – covering ingredients with water. Heat it all until it boils, then drop the heat down to simmer for about 1 and 1/4 hour. Then let it cool down for about half an hour or so.
Next take the chook out and keep the stock, without the vegetables in it. Take shin off chook, then tear meat into small shredded pieces.
Next do the rice part! Put butter and olive oil in a pan and gently cook sliced onions and mint just until soft. Then put in rice and stir for 1 minute before adding almonds, and stir for almost 5 mins. Then pour in 1/2 litre of the chicken stock (that you just made). Heat it with lid on, until it just simmers with all liquid absorbed by the rice. Check that rice is cooked. Season it with salt and ground pepper. Take it off stove to cool a bit. Then stir the chicken into it.
Next use 6 to 8 small oven proof pudding bowls – grease them. Place half a pastry sheet into bowl and press it in, with extra flopped over outside the bowl. Put chicken rice mix into bowls, firmly pressing it in. Bring extra pastry over the top and cover it with egg brush mix.
Place the bowls in a pre-heated oven at 200 C. Cook for about 20 minutes – top should be browned. Then take out and set aside about 5 mins to set.
Then gingerly turn upside down onto the dinner plates, and serve while still hot. (You could decorate the plate with a small heap of chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds, and have a bowl of typical Turkish salad on the table).