Chicken Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Pistachios

Image of pine nuts scattered on a board

Fragrant with spices, studded with chunks of chicken and toasted pine nuts and scattered with pistachios, this rice dish only needs a crisp lemony salad as an accompaniment.

It’s a good weekday supper dish, especially if you’ve got some cold chicken left over from a roast. If not, just poach, roast or fry some chicken pieces, take the meat off the bone in bite-sized chunks, and get stuck into the recipe.

Chicken Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Pistachios

Image of a bowl of pilaf


15g butter + 1 tbspn olive oil

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick

5 cardamon pods, lightly crushed

1-2 tspn ras el hanout, to taste

200g basmati rice

250g cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 tspn saffron threads

450ml/1 pint good-quality chicken stock, preferably home-made

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 heaped tbsp pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped

Leaves from 1 x 30g bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

Image of parsley and mezzaluna


Put the saffron threads in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Leave to steep. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until they’re coloured – don’t let them catch – and set aside.

Melt the butter with the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Fry gently for around 10 minutes then stir in the garlic and spices (except for the saffron) and cook for a further three minutes.

Pour in the rice and stir well to coat in the buttery juices. Add the chicken, the stock and the saffron and its water and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the toasted pine nuts, put the lid back on and cook for another 2 minutes until the rice is tender but still has a slight bite. If it’s still too soupy, remove the lid and cook off the liquid, stirring.

Stir through the chopped parsley, scatter with the chopped pistachios and serve.

Image of a bowl of pilaf


5 thoughts on “Chicken Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Pistachios

  1. Sounds and looks great, and one that I can definitely make.. the only ingredient I need to go and get (well, apart from the cooked chicken) is the pine nuts! Really looking forward to making it. Of course, will post the pics of the end product when I do.. (looks a little like a risotto, only tastier!) Thank you, Linda x

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