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Cuppylicious!, Eastern Mediterranean, Ethnic Foods, Meat, Pasta & Rice, Poultry, Side Dishes

Cinnamon Raisin Rice

Cinnamon Raisin Rice

Cinnamon Raisin Rice with pine nuts and chicken

Originally titled Lebanese Chicken and Rice with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Feta, this recipe comes from Nutrition Consultant Jeannette Turner, but I couldn’t find exactly what was Lebanese about it. Maybe if you swapped cinnamon for 5 spice.

1 lb. skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. honey
crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Optional step I enjoy: Soak raisins in 1/2 cup of cool water, set aside.

In a large skillet or frying pan on medium high heat, cook rice in 1 Tbsp of oil until well browned. Cook rice with 2 cups of water, salt, cinnamon, bay leaves, and honey according to the directions on the package (hey, I use a rice cooker, so you’re on your own).

While the rice is cooking, fry chopped onions in 1 Tbsp of oil in the same skillet or pan 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Add chopped chicken pieces and cook thoroughly (about 10 minutes). Drain raisins and add them with the pine nuts to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Remove bay leaves from rice. Combine rice and chicken mix into a large baking dish. Top with feta and broil for 5-8 minutes (or until the feta melts and starts to brown on top). If you’re using feta cheese, this broiling is vital because it changes the smell and taste of the feta.

I served mine with butternut squash, but I hear it goes well with green vegetables, too. This recipe is easily converted to vegetarian/vegan, for either main course or side dish.

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