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One-skillet Wonder~ Chicken Rice Pilaf

Everyone loves a one-skillet dinner but this is especially relevant when camping. Ease of prep and ease of clean-up means more time for fun! This is one of our very favorite one-skillet dinners. The recipe is Indian inspired, however, by simply changing up the spices used can lend itself to whatever flavor profile you desire. Chef Asha Gomez has created a nearly perfect camp dinner.

Chicken Rice Pilaf

Without further ado, I present the recipe for one of the easiest and most adaptable, dishes we turn to.

Chicken Rice Pilaf


  • 1/4 cup ghee (see Note) or butter/olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 6 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 3 star anise
  • Salt
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • Golden or green raisins
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped toasted almonds, for garnish


In a large saucepan, heat the ghee. Add the onion, cardamom, star anise and a big pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook over moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring to coat it with the aromatics.

Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the rice and return to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steam, covered, for 15 minutes.

Fluff the pilaf with a fork and season with salt. Transfer to a bowl, discarding the cardamom and star anise. Garnish with 
raisins, chopped cilantro, and chopped toasted almonds and serve.

** For a Mexican bent you can substitute cumin and coriander.

**Italian lovers will still find this dish irresistible with Italian spices and oregano.

**All-American ideas would be straight salt & pepper or Johnny’s all-purpose seasoning.

**Thai fans could add fresh minced ginger and Thai basil.

Whichever rendition becomes your favorite, we’re sure that every member of the group will fall in love with this easy yet delicious one-pot meal.


The Indian cooking fat ghee is available at specialty food stores.

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