The name of this dish may not roll off the tongue, descriptive though it is.
But I promise you that it’s easy to make and absolutely delicious. It’s just the recipe for those occasions when you want to make something a bit special, unusual and impressive but are short on time and not in the mood for faff. In short it’s a recipe that punches above its weight and I urge you to give it a try!
I first made Persian Tahcheen-e morgh several years ago, following a Greg Malouf recipe from his book Saraban. A crisp, golden crust on the rice is highly sought after and worthy of oohs and aahs when the baked dish is turned out for all to admire, and then there’s the pleasure of digging into the rice and discovering moist chicken within.
A couple of years later, I came up with my Persian-Mozambique fusion version, replacing the subtle orange blossom and saffron flavours of the original with punchier peri peri. It was absolutely fantastic and yet we’ve only made it a couple of times since because, let’s be frank, parboiling rice is a bit of a faff and the 1.5 hour baking time doesn’t win points for a speedy supper either.
This quick version of that fusion success story is far easier to pull together and most of the ingredients are long life products you can keep on hand in the kitchen cupboard. You’ll need to stock your cupboard with Veetee Heat & Eat rice, your favourite brand of peri peri sauce and some butter, salt and pepper.
All you need to pick up on the way home is a pack of ready-cooked chicken breast and a pot of natural yoghurt and you’re ready to go.
I’m not a huge fan of flavoured microwavable rice, though Pete likes them for a super quick meal when short of time. But London-based rice brand Veetee offer packs of Heat & Eat rice with no extraneous flavours added. They’re fantastic! Choose from Basmati, Long Grain, Wholegrain and Thai Jasmine or for some added colour and nuttiness, a Basmati and Wild Rice mix. One packet is a generous portion for one; my recipe uses two packs for a two-person meal.
Key equipment for this recipe is a suitably-sized and heavy-based frying pan. Ours is 20 cm in diameter and 5 cm deep. If yours is smaller or larger, you may need to adjust amounts as well as cooking time.
Quick Golden-Baked Peri Peri Chicken, Yoghurt & Rice Cake
- 2 packs Veetee Heat & Eat long grain or basmati rice
- 150 g full fat thick natural yoghurt
- 1-2 tbsp peri peri sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 150 g cooked chicken , roughly chopped
- 50 g unsalted butter for generous greasing
- extra natural yoghurt to serve on the side (optional)
- coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
- Heavy-based frying pan, 20 cm diameter and at least 5 cm deep.
You can buy packs of ready-cooked chicken breast from the supermarket but leftover roast chicken is also perfect for this recipe.
In a large bowl, open 2 packs of (unheated) Veetee Heat & Eat long grain or basmati rice and use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently break the blocks down into loose rice.
Add the yoghurt, salt and 1-2 tablespoons of peri peri sauce – the exact amount will depend on how fiery your chosen peri peri sauce is and how strong you’d like the finished dish to taste – and combine thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, add a teaspoon of peri peri sauce to the chopped chicken and mix well.
Butter the frying pan very generously all over the bottom and sides. If you stint on butter, you may struggle to turn your rice cake out when cooked, and you won’t get a beautiful golden crust either.
Spoon a little over half the rice mixture into the pan to create an even layer across the base and slightly up the sides. Press down the spatula or spoon to make sure the rice is evenly distributed.
Spread the chicken across the rice base, except at the outer edges
Evenly cover with remaining rice, smooth and press down.
Cover the pan tightly with foil (or a snug-fitting lid, if you have one) and cook over a medium flame for 18-20 minutes.
When the cooking time is done, remove the foil and gently run a knife around the outer edge of the pan.
Position a plate over the pan, hold both firmly together and flip over. If you buttered sufficiently, the rice cake should slip out onto the plate.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately, with extra natural yoghurt on the side.
You may also enjoy these recipes featuring Veetee microwavable rice:
- Indonesian Nasi Goreng with Prawns on Supergolden Bakes
- Sticky Brown Sugar Glazed Pork with New Orleans Style Rice on Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- Spicy Rice and Bean Feast on A Glug Of Oil
- 15 Minute Mushroom Risotto on Amuse Your Bouche
- Baked Rice Samosas on Fuss Free Flavours
- Rice, Quinoa, and Vegetable Bites on Utterly Scrummy Food For Families
- Paneer & Pilau Fritters on Emily’s Recipes & Reviews
- Quick Cinnamon Butter Fried Rice on Recipes from a Pantry
This post is a paid recipe commission for Veetee. All opinions my own.