Katya Sourikova’s Plov
Updated: May 19
Plov is a Russian/Tatar dish. This is my take on it. Works well as both a party dish and comfort food. It’s been a family staple for many years, my grandma used to make it, then my mother and now me. It’s been a favourite at dinner parties too! It’s a one-pot dish, so less washing up. Perhaps because I’m an improvising musician, I often make different versions of this dish, like using a tagine spice rub on the chicken and adding half a cinnamon quill to the cooking water. Short grain rice can also be used instead of basmati. Pork or turkey can replace the chicken. A spoonful of tomato paste added during the early stages of cooking will result in a richer flavour. Enjoy!
Chicken thighs or other medium sized pieces- about 500-600 grams. On the bone pieces add flavour but breast meat also works.
A small piece of fresh fennel
Zest of half a lemon
2-3 garlic cloves
1 large tomato, skinned
500gr brown basmati rice
900ml vegetable stock ( from a cube is fine )
A sprig of thyme ( pref. Lemon thyme)
A handful of parsley
You need a heavy bottomed pot or casserole dish with a tight closing lid.
Chop onions, carrots and fennel. Gently fry garlic and lemon zest in olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped tomato. Stir. Turn up the heat and add the chicken pieces. Cook for a few minutes on each side until slightly browned. Take care not to burn. Add the thyme, salt and black pepper to taste.
Wash the rice and add it to the pot so that it sits on top of the chicken pieces. Spread it evenly across but do not mix.
Pour in the hot stock and cover. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook for 20 min covered. Then open the lid to check. In about 30 min most of the liquid will be absorbed, although the timing is approximate. Check the rice for doneness. It should not be too soggy. If too firm, add a bit more stock and cook until done.
Serve in the pot garnished with parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Dig the serving spoon in to make sure everybody gets a good mix of chicken and rice. Alternatively, turn out onto a flat serving dish so that the meat sits on top of the rice.
Goes well with a green salad or fried courgettes.