Lemon Chicken Pilaf

Something light and tangy, and yet still very sustaining. Just the thing for a warm summer evening when you want something that is not too heavy but will give you the feeling of having eaten a good meal. It may seem that there are a lot of ingredients, but it is much simpler than it looks, and everything can be prepared well beforehand.

½ tsp cinnamon.
½ tsp ginger.
¼ tsp white pepper.
Salt to taste.
1 cup basmati rice.
½ cup dried peas.
¼ cup sultanas.
¼ cup diced dried apricots.
½ cup chopped cashew nuts.
Zest of 1 lemon.
2 tblsp tomato paste.
2 ¼ cups vegetable stock.
½ cup olive oil.
300g diced lean chicken meat.
Salt to taste.
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped.
½ cup chopped fresh herbs.
Juice of a lemon.

Dice the chicken meat. Mix the spices and the salt together and stir through the the meat. Place the spice-dusted meat in a sealed container and keep in a cool place for 2-3 hours. In a bowl, mix the rice, peas, sultanas, cashews, lemon zest, tomato paste and stock. Stir well, cover and leave to sit for 2-3 hours.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a hot flame and stir fry the meat until well browned. Add the onion and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the rice mixture, stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover tightly and leave to cook for 20 minutes.

Without removing the lid, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the herbs, sprinkle with the lemon juice and fluff up with a fork. Serve immediately.

Serves: 2.

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