One pot chicken with Dill and Raisins is a dish I kinda put together and then loved so much that I quickly recreated it the next day before I forgot what I did!Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
For me, cooking is an art. It’s a blank slate and I can make it whatever I want. Things I hear or see inspire me and that gets recreated in the kitchen. This dish is exactly that. Although traditional food from Damascus is never a sweet and savory combo, that combination happens to be my ultimate favorite. Maybe its because I grew up in New Jersey and sweet and sour chicken from our local Chinese restaurant was a favorite of mine, who knows. Other parts of middle eastern cuisine use a lot of raisins and currants and dates in their dishes. Persian dishes use tons of raisins in their rice. The gulf region of the Middle East also makes rice and raisin dishes across most of their cuisine because of their geographical position close to Iran. Even other parts of Syria, like Aleppo make sweet and savory dishes all the time, just not so much in Damascus.
But none the less, here I am, craving something sweet, something savory, something quick, and something easy. Is that too much to ask for. Like most of my dishes, I start by cutting an onion and seeing where that takes me. I put the onions on the stove on low heat to buy myself some time to dig through the fridge and see what I can come up with. Keeping a close eye on the onions to make sure they dont burn I then add a tomato I had in the fridge that was a day away from bursting with tomato juice. Perfect, I thought. I add that to the now caramelized onions and the juices begin to marry together with the bustling tomato.
I found some fresh dill and that made it click in my mind and immediately I knew what I was going to do with this dish. Sometimes just a handful of ingredients is all you need and although I made this pre corona virus, I know this is going to be a staple during this corona lockdown time because it literally requires just a few ingredients that everyone probably already has on hand; especially if you stocked up your pantry. I decided to stop at this point trying to make it any more complicated than it needs to be. It was perfect in my mind with just the addition of some rice to make it hearty and some raisins to make it sweet.
I finish it off with some broth and put it on low heat covered to all cook together. Once it’s done I top it with fresh dill and serve. It is so delicious and rich in flavor.
If you do not like chicken or want something different you can make this dish with
- eggplant instead of chicken (just broil or fry the eggplant before)
- mushrooms; leave them in bigger pieces so they are more meaty
- shrimp (see instagram highlight stories)
- leave it as is with no meat
This is the ultimate sweet and savory dish. The soft carmalized onions combined with the pleasently chewy raisins compliment the savory rice which cooks similar to a rissotto. The best part is it all come together in less 40 minutes and uses only one pot.
- 2 Tbls oil separated
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups coarsely diced tomatoes about 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1/4 chopped fresh dill
- 1/3 cup currant raisins can substitute with regular raisins
- 2 1/4 cups broth
- 1 cup calrose rice
- Either 1 lb shrimp or 1 lb chicken
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Salt and pepper the chicken (if making it with shrimp skip to step 4)
- Add oil and sautee the chicken on both sides until 80% cooked
- Remove from skillet
- In a skillet add oil and onions on low heat for at least 15 minutes until they caramelize and turn light brown
- Salt and pepper the onions
- Add tomatoes and garlic and continue for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the tomato has released all its juice and the onions are more caramelized
- Add raisins
- Add broth and adjust salt and pepper to liking and bring to a boil
If making it with chicken return the chicken back at this point
- Add rice, stir to completely cover rice in broth
- Lower heat and cover for 15 minutes
- Turn off the heat and let sit covered for at least 5 additional minutes
- If making it with shrimp
- Sautee shrimp in butter, salt, pepper & garlic in separate skillet
- Add to rice when completely cooked
- Top with fresh dill
currant raisins are much smaller than regular raisins so they're not overwhelmingly sweet but they are sometimes a little tricky to find. If you cannot find them, use regular raisins and either chop them or leave them as is.
If you want to make this without the chicken or the shrimp, it still tastes amazing as is