Road Testing Recipes: Nigella's Mixed Meat Pilaf

This is a recipe taken from Nigella Lawson's book Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, p198. 

I am a great admirer of Nigella and her no fuss, maximum pleasure approach to cooking. Therefore I wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who needs recipes for both large occasions and sneaky midnight snacks.

I have reproduced Nigella's recipe here, along with my own recipe for Indian spiced chicken to go in the Pilaf. This is to replace the left over meat which Nigella recommends in her recipe, obviously you can stick with her original suggestion, or try out my chicken!

Ingredients (serves 2-3)



3 Chicken Breasts, skin removed
1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
1tsp Medium Curry Powder
2tsp Runny Honey
1tsp Vegetable or Rapeseed Oil


1tbsp Vegetable or Rapeseed Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
225g Basmati Rice
500ml Chicken Stock
150g Shredded Cold Meat (or the above chicken recipe)
2-3 tbsp mixture of toasted Flaked Almonds and Pine Nuts
A big handful of chopped Fresh Coriander
Nigella also suggests you can add a handful of Pomegranate Seeds!



Chicken - This can be started 15 minutes before you prepare the pilaf.

Firstly the chicken must be marinated in the spices, preferably this can be done the day before, then stored in the fridge overnight. Alternatively this can be done an hour before cooking.


1. In a bowl, coat the chicken breasts in the spices, oil and honey. Make sure this mixture is evenly spread over the chicken and leave to marinate.

2. Before cooking the chicken, make sure you have preheated your oven at 180C for at least 5 minutes.

3. Spread the chicken breasts out on a large roasting tray and cook for 25 minutes

4. Once cooked, you can slice the chicken finely to be added to the finished pilaf.



1. Warm the oil in a heavy based, lidded saucepan and add the onions, cook for 5 minutes whilst stirring repeatedly.

2. After 5 minutes, add the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dried thyme and cook for a further five minutes. Whilst the spicy onions are cooking, you can make up your chicken stock according to the packet instructions.

3. Add the rice and mix until evenly coated with the oily, spicy onions.

4. Add the stock then bring everything to the boil. Once boiling, cover the pan with the lid and leave on the lowest setting possible to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. In this time you can dry roast (meaning, no oil) the flaked almonds and pine nuts in a frying pan until golden. This should take under 5 minutes on a high heat, remember to stir well to evenly roast the nuts.

6. Add the shredded meat to the rice and cook for a further five minutes.

7. Check that both the rice and meat are cooked through, then take everything off the heat and add the toasted nuts, tossing well. Top off the pilaf with the chopped coriander and enjoy!

Serve with naan bread and a refreshing pint of Indian beer!

For more Pilaf inspiration, check out this article from The Guardian

As always, let me know if you have a go!