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This is a great recipe for using leftover chicken (or turkey).
Rinse the rice, drain, and put in a heavy non-stick pot. Add 1-1/2 parts water for each part of rice. Heat to a boil, cover lightly, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 7 minutes. Cover tightly and cook for another 8 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit for 15 minutes before fluffing.
In the meantime, put olive oil, onion, and garlic in a cold saute pan and sweat over medium heat. When the onion is soft, stir in the spices and saute for a couple of minutes. Add a teaspoon of water if the mixture becomes too dry. Add the chicken to coat.
Just before ready to serve, fluff the rice and stir the yogurt into the chicken until heated through. Do not overheat, or the yogurt will break apart.
To serve, arrange rice on each serving plate and spoon some chicken over it. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
You can buy strained yogurt (marketed as Greek yogurt), or you can easily strain plain yogurt by wrapping it in a few layers of cheesecloth over a colander until all the liquid is drained.
I personally only use basmati rice. It has a wonderful aroma and flavor, and it cooks perfectly every time. Regular long grain rice just doesn't have the quality of basmati rice, and it isn't that much cheaper to justify using inferior rice.
Package instructions usually tell you to cover the pot tightly when cooking rice. I find that the water tends to boil over when you do that. It cooks much better if you cover with the lid only slightly during the first 7 minutes and you have less cleanup (if you've ever used a rice cooker, you will have noticed how the rice water tends to dry around the edge and create a crusty film).
This recipe was provided by Mabel Menard from Chicago.