Plov, a rice dish I grew up with

If you like rice, you will love the recipe I am going to share with you today. The recipe is slightly changed from the original one, mainly due to the fact that we like chicken more than lamb. Plov (or Pilav) is an Asian rise dish done with lamb and is a dish which will be prepared for any kind of celebrations. I know the dish from my childhood as I was born in Tajikistan and so we would always get it served if we were invited somewhere. Over the time my mom adjusted this dish more to our taste changing slightly the ingredients, the preparation however remains the same. Plov will be prepared in a sort of big iron pot in a wok shape calls "Kazan". You do not have to have a Kazan however, any "Dutch oven" pot will work perfectly good too. 

Plov is perfect to be done for many people and can be done a day before, it always tastes much better the day after. The ingredients are simple and available all year around. I love Plov not only because it is a dish of my childhood, but also because my boys are crazy about it and it is done with lots of carrots, my favorite vegetable....

Plov - my family style
  • 3-4 chicken legs
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 5-6 carrots
  • 1 cup rice (coffee cup)
  • 2 cups hot water (use the same cup as for the rice)
  • 2 cubes of vegetable stock
  • neutral oil (sunflower or rapeseeds oil)
  • salt , pepper
First measure the rice, note that you shall use the same cup as a measurements for the water as you use to measure the rice. There are different kind of rice, take the hard cooking one for this dish (long grain rice), if you take something like basmati rice, your dish will appear too sticky. Wash the rice with cold water at least 3 times, till water appears to be clear.
Wash, dry and season the chicken legs with salt and pepper. Fry them in a frying pan in some oil till golden brown (shall take about 6-7 minutes). Meanwhile cut the onion in cubes and grate the carrots (use large size of the grater). Preheat the Dutch oven pot on medium high heat, add some oil and cook the onions and carrots for couple of minutes. Dissolve the vegetables stock cubes in two cups of hot water (the cup you used for the rice). Now take the fried chicken legs and put them on top of the onion-carrots mixture, place the garlic bulb (with skin) in the middle of the pot. Spread the rice over and cover it all with the vegetable stock. Put the lid on the top of the pot. As soon as it starts boiling (shall take not more than 2 minutes), reduce the heat to very low (on a scale from 9 to 1 I always use 2-3) and let it cook for 30-40 minutes.
You can check the dish after 20 minutes, if the water it boiling away to quick reduce the heat bit more. When the dish is ready you shall not have any water / stock left in the pot. Take the garlic out and serve it separately, as individual gloves to the portion. Stir the dish gently to get the vegetables evenly mix with the rice. Serve with some freshly chopped coriander....