Chicken Over Rice (Halal Style)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 mins (also preferred to marinate chicken for at least 4 hours)
Total time: 45 mins


For the chicken:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp oregano (can be fresh or dry)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or grated
½ yellow onion, diced
Juice from 1 lemon
Lemon zest (optional)
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp fresh or dried thyme
1 tbsp fresh parsley
½ cup olive oil + 1 tbsp
Kosher salt and black pepper

For the rice:
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp coriander
1 ½ cups basmati rice
2 ½ cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
Kosher salt

For the white sauce:
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
Zest from ½ lemon (optional)
5 oz Greek yogurt
3 oz mayo
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp fresh parsley
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp dill weed (can also use fresh dill), optional
Kosher salt and black pepper


  1. Make the marinade: combine all ingredients for the chicken in a large bowl or ziplock bag. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let marinate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. (I prefer to combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl, then pour over chicken in a ziplock bag)
  2. Cooking the chicken: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sear the chicken thighs on both sides until brown. When chicken is finished cooking and cooled, dice into small pieces.
  • If you want to continue cooking the chicken on top of the stove, reduce the heat to medium, top your pan, and let chicken cook for 12-15 minutes. 
  • If you prefer to cook the chicken in the oven, cook in a preheated (375 degree) oven for 12-15 minutes following the sear. (I cook the chicken in the oven when I am making a lot of it, because I have to sear in batches)
  1. Cooking the rice: melt butter over medium heat in a pot large enough for rice. Add spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander) and garlic and let cook for 1 minute. Add rice and coat in the spiced butter. Toast the rice until golden brown, or about 4 minutes. Add in chicken broth and season to taste with salt (taste the broth to see what your rice will taste like). Bring rice to boil, then simmer until it is done, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Making the white sauce: combine all ingredients and let chill until ready to serve. It is best to do this after preparing the chicken for marinade but should be done at least 1 hour before serving to give ingredients time to chill together.

Recipe Tips

  • You can use chicken breast instead of (or in addition to) chicken thighs. If making large amounts of this chicken (I usually double the amount of chicken when making this recipe) it is best to cook in the oven following the sear. 
  • If wishing to double the recipe, you will most likely not need to make more sauce than the recipe calls for. I always have a lot of sauce left over.
  • This recipe is a play on New York cart-style halal food. It is best served with lettuce, tomato, pita, and your favorite hot sauce. 
  • If you have never cooked with basmati rice before, know that it does not cook the same way as regular rice. Basmati rice will continue to cook even when all the liquid is gone. Do not add more liquid to the rice than what is called for. Basmati rice also cooks best when undisturbed; it needs time for the liquid to absorb into the rice.

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