New York cart-style chicken and rice

New York cart-style chicken and rice

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  • 4
  • Easy
  • wheat and gluten free
  • 30 minutes, plus 1–4 hours’ marinating time
  • 45 minutes
  • Simonsig Gewürztraminer

"This is my home-cooked version of the famous street-food takeaway. It’s quite a long recipe but really easy to make. On days when you're feeling virtuous, you're welcome to replace the iceberg or Crunchita lettuce with baby spinach leaves, as I've done here. A hot, red sauce is optional but you won't want to skimp on the creamy white sauce.” – Sam Woulidge


  • 4 T lemon juice
  • 2 T fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3 T garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 T canola oil
  • For the rice:
  • 2 T butter
  • ¼ t ground cumin
  • ½ t ground turmeric
  • 285 g basmati rice
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the white sauce, mix:
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 cup plain double-cream yoghurt
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 1½ T lemon juice
  • 1 T sugar
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For serving:
  • 1 head iceberg or Crunchita lettuce, shredded (or any leaves of your choice)
  • 4 salad tomatoes, chopped
  • harissa-style hot sauce (or any other chilli sauce), optional

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the chicken, combine the lemon juice, oregano, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika and olive oil and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and add half the marinade. Seal the bag and marinate in the fridge for 1–4 hours. Place the remaining marinade in the fridge too. 3 Once the chicken has marinated, heat the canola oil in a heavy-based skillet or pan and add the chicken pieces, a few at a time. Cook each piece for 5–6 minutes on each side so that it is nicely browned and cooked through.

4. Place the cooked chicken on a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a bowl, adding the remainder of the marinade. Cover with clingfilm and chill while you make the rice and white sauce.

5. To make the rice, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cumin and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Add the uncooked rice and stir until nicely toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and season. Increase the heat to high and bring the rice to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand, covered, for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

6. Shortly before serving, heat 1 T oil in the skillet or pan and return the chicken with all the marinade to the pan, stirring occasionally until heated through.

7. To serve, pile a bowl full of the fragrant rice, then top with the chicken and salad. Generously drizzle the white sauce (and the red sauce) over everything.

ALSO READ: How chicken and rice reminds me to always try new things

Find more chicken recipes here.

Photograph: Jan Ras
Production: Bianca Strydom
Food assistant: Emma Morey

Sam Woulidge Recipe by: Sam Woulidge
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Cape Town-based writer Sam Woulidge is a regular TASTE columnist, blogger and author of 'Confessions of a Hungry Woman'. Follow her on Twitter @samwoulidge

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