Chicken Pilaff


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Simply Delicious 2

Simply Delicious 2

By Darina Allen

Published 1990

  • About

This delicious chicken recipe can be a very economical way to serve large numbers for a party. Serve with a Pilaff Rice and Tomato Fondue and garnish with sprigs of parsley or watercress. It may be prepared ahead of time and reheats well but do not add the liaison until just before serving.


  • 1 × 4–4½ lbs (1.8–2 kg) approx. boiling fowl or good free-range chicken
  • 1 large sliced carrot
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 5 peppercorns
  • a bouquet garni made up of a sprig of thyme, parsley stalks, a tiny bay leaf, a stick of celery
  • ¾ pint (450 ml/scant 2 cups) approx. water or water and white wine mixed or light chicken stock (Simply Delicious)
  • 1 oz (30 g) approx. roux
  • 6 fl ozs (175 ml/¾ cup) cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 fl ozs (50 ml/¼ cup) cream

Pilaff Rice

  • 1 oz (30 g/¼ stick) butter
  • 2 tablesp. finely chopped onion or shallot
  • 14 ozs (400 g/2 cups) long-grain rice (preferably Basmati)
  • 32 fl ozs (975 ml/4 cups) home-made chicken stock (Simply Delicious)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper; put into a heavy casserole with the carrot, celery, onion, herbs and peppercorns. Pour in water, water and wine or stock. Cover and bring to the boil and simmer either on top of the stove or in the oven for 1½–3 hours, depending on the age of the bird. When the bird is cooked, remove from the casserole.

Strain and de-grease the cooking liquid and return to the casserole. Discard the vegetables: they have already given their flavour to the cooking liquid. Reduce the liquid in an uncovered casserole for a few minutes. If it tastes a little weak, add cream and reduce again; thicken to a light coating consistency with roux. Taste, add salt, correct the seasoning. Skin the chicken and carve the flesh into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces; add the meat to the sauce and allow it to heat through and bubble (the dish may be prepared ahead to this point).

Finally, just before serving mix the egg yolk and cream to make a liaison. Add some of the hot sauce to the liaison then carefully stir into the chicken mixture. Taste, correct the seasoning and stir well but do not allow to boil further or the sauce will curdle.

Pilaff Rice: Melt the butter in a casserole, add the finely chopped onion and sweat for 2–3 minutes. Add the rice and toss for a minute or two until the grains change colour. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, add the chicken stock, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer either on top of the stove or in the oven for 10 minutes approx., or until the rice is just cooked and all the water is absorbed.