Chicken fillets with vegetables and basmati rice

I went to see my editor, and in her store cupboard were lots of spices from Jordan. We were hungry and I was inspired by all those colours! A chicken breast, two vegetables from the market and spices which simply jumped off a plate! But let's take a step back for a moment: why do dishes with oriental flavours often contain basmati rice? In Hindi the word basmati means "queen of fragrance", and it is a long-grain variety of rice, cultivated particularly in India and Pakistan. After cooking this rice becomes even longer but does not become too sticky or dry; its flavour is intense and pleasant, ideal for making exotic spicy dishes. As for the cooking, I will teach you in this recipe: one does not usually cook rice in boiling water as you do with pasta, but just in order to absorb the water .... And please: never use it to make risotto alla Milanese. .. it will be a disaster!


  • chicken breast 400 grams
  • courgettes 1 courgette
  • carrots 1 carrot
  • yellow peppers Half a yellow pepper
  • onions Half an onion
  • garlic 1 clove
  • cinnamon 2 teaspoons
  • curry 2 teaspoons
  • basmati rice 8 handfuls of basmati rice

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30 minutes Total time
23 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Cook the basmati rice as you would for sushi, with just a pinch of salt in the water. So: cover the rice with one inch of water, and cook for 13 minutes over low heat with the lid on, and then leave for another 10 minutes with the heat off, again without taking the lid off. Cut the vegetables and chicken into large cubes of the same size. Put the chicken in to marinate with the finely chopped garlic and spices. Sauté the vegetables in hot oil, seasoning with the spices and salt and then remove from heat. Sauté the chicken in the same pan, then add the vegetables. Serve the pieces of chicken with vegetables and basmati rice.

Be very careful with the timing and method of cooking your basmati rice, since it is much more tender and delicate than common rice: after cooking in water, allowing it to absorb the latter, you must then steam it.
The term ‘basmati’ rice comes from the Hindi language with the original meaning "queen of fragrance", a particularly apposite name.

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