There are hundreds of rice-based dishes, but surely today’s Chicken Mandi recipe is going to be on your top 10. This is a minimal chicken and rice dish made from three simple ingredients. It gives you a crispy and tasty skinned chicken on top of fluffy flavored rice. With barely any effort, you will have a desirable and filling dish on the table.
Chicken mandi, as a traditional Arabian dish, is served with dates, tahini, and honey. You can also side it with a simple green salad and enjoy every bite.
To begin making this flavorful chicken mandi, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Spatchcock the chicken by putting the chicken on a cutting board breast side down. Remove the backbone with a very sharp knife; once the backbone is removed, cut the whole chicken in half. Cut off the wings’ tips and save the backbones and tip of the wings for the delicious Arabinan chicken rice stock.
With a meat hammer, pound the chicken a little to flatten it out. Make about three slits into each chicken half. Season the chicken mandi with salt and pepper vigorously all over. Place the chicken skin side up on a rack in the oven on the middle rack. If you do not have a roasting rack, place the chicken on the oven rack.
Place a roasting dish on the bottom of the rack and fill it with 2 cups of hot water to create steam and catch the chicken mandi drippings. Cook the chicken for 45 minutes until it looks golden brown and crispy. You want the chicken to be cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it.
To make the rice for your fabulous Arabian chicken rice, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high flame. Once the oil is hot, add the onion wedges, chicken backbone, and wingtips. Stir around until the onions are browned. Then pour in the water. Let the mixture boil, then reduce the heat a bit and let the Arabian chicken rice broth simmer for 45 minutes while the chicken is roasting in the oven. You can add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, or garlic cloves to the broth if you like.
Drain the stock and discard the onion wedges and bones. Add the soaked and drained rice to the chicken stock. Top with an additional amount of water if needed. You want the water to cover the rice entirely. Season with salt and bring the Arabian chicken rice to a boil. Once boiling, cover the lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the rice for 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
Remove the rice from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork.
To serve this spicy and amazing chicken mandi, put the rice on a serving platter and top it with cooked chicken. Enjoy!