A couple of days ago an old friend of mine who now lives in Manhattan posted on Facebook that he was making a late night trip for halal chicken and rice from 43rd & 6th street. Not being familiar with it, I Googled it to see just what halal chicken was in New York city. I came across an article where the author decided to figure out how to replicate the halal chicken and rice dish, sold on 53rd and 6th.
Last night I decided to give this NYC street chicken and rice a whirl and I have to say, it’s probably the best chicken dish I’ve ever made, hands down. Honestly.
This recipe has so much depth of flavor with the fragrant spices and Greek yogurt based marinade that I never could have imagined it would be possible for an Irish gal to make something this amazingly complex in flavor!
I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, but found their recipe did not discuss the cooking of the chicken all that much. Here is what I did.
I purchased boneless, skinless chicken and did not trim the extra bits of fat off. I decided not to, only because we generally eat healthy here, so I was not too worried about a tiny bit. I figured having the extra bits of fat would keep the meat tender and juicy. I am glad that I did.
I used a non-stick skillet and did not add oil at first. That is not advisable. The marinade is too thick and is dairy based, so it immediately got stuck, making a mess of the pan. I’d either use a non-stick with oil or a well seasoned cast iron pan and a bit of vegetable oil. Personally, I think I’d go for cast iron. I believe the overall end result would be better and a bit more like the seasoned flat top that would be used in it’s preparation on the street.
Cook on relatively high heat and in small batches as if you were stir frying. This way you can cook it quickly, get a nice sear on your chicken and you won’t crowd the meat, which would cause it to steam.
I cooked the meat about 7 minutes per batch, removed it from the heat, let it rest, and added the next batch to cook.
I served it with Mujadarra (rice and lentils) and a gorgeous carrot salad from my new Middle Eastern cookbook that The Mr. ♥ gave to me. I found one of our WordPress friends actually blogged about this amazing carrot dish here!
I had originally planned on making homemade pita bread to go with it, but come six~ thirty, I was so done with cooking. However, I highly recommend making homemade pita if you can. It’s not overly taxing to make if you have a bread machine. I finished cooking my pitas on a pizza stone in the oven and they were amazing little pillows. So, so much better than store bought pita breads!
So, What is Halal? You can read all about it here. http://mideastfood.about.com/od/middleeasternfood101/a/halalfoods.htm