Layered chicken and rice plov
By Faith Kramer, Jewish Unpacked (Formerly known as "From the Grapevine")
“A plov (sometimes called plof) is a show-stopper rice dish full of subtle flavors and moist chicken. It somewhat resembles Persian, Middle Eastern and Indian pilafs, pilaus and biriyanis.”
Rinse the rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear.
In a large heatproof bowl, mix together the rice, 1 teaspoon of salt, the saffron, and boiling water.
Let soak for at least 1 hour. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and black pepper.
In a 6-quart pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and sauté until the onions begin to soften, 7 to 10 minutes.
Add the carrots and sauté until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes, adding another drizzle of oil if the pot seems dry.
Stir in the cinnamon, turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and black pepper, and 1/4 cup of dill.
Sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes.
Layer the green beans evenly over the chicken and vegetables. Layer the spinach over the green beans.
Carefully pour the rice mixture with the water into the pot.
Do not stir or mix in with the other ingredients. Cover and bring to a simmer.
Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. (While the rice is cooking, open the lid as little as possible but check periodically to make sure the pot has not dried out.
Add water, a little at a time, as needed.)
Turn off the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
Uncover, place a rimmed platter on top of the pot and carefully flip over the pot onto the platter.
The plov should turn out with the vegetables and chicken on top.
Use a spatula to smooth it back into shape if needed.
Serve the plov on the platter, garnished with the remaining 1/4 cup of dill and drizzled with pomegranate molasses.
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