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D'jej ala Rez - Lebanese Roasted Chicken with Rice and Nuts

December 19, 2017

 

D'jej ala Rez, also called Rez a Djej is probably the most traditional Lebanese dish, often served at large family gatherings and parties. Deliciously flavored rice with roasted pine nuts, almonds and ground lamb topped on a perfectly roasted chicken. It is the perfect dish when cooking for lots of people. 

 

My Lebanese husband has shared his recipe with me! 

 

Here is how you make it:

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove the bag with intestines. Rub the chicken with allspice. Grease the roasting pan with a little olive oil (unless you have one with a rack) and roast for 1 and a half hours (20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes). After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with a little water, and thereafter, baste every 15 minutes until the chicken is done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Blanch the almonds by bringing a small pot of water to a boil, remove from heat and add the almonds. After half a minute you can easily remove the skin off the almonds. Split the almonds lengthwise into halves. 

 

 

3. Over medium heat, with a tablespoon of butter, roast the pine nuts until golden brown, while stirring constantly to make sure they do not burn. Put them in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb the grease. Discard the used butter and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel (or clean the pan, but wait until cool or use very hot water so you don't ruin the pan).  Add another table spoon of butter to the pan and roast the almonds the same way. 

 

 

4. Over medium/high heat cook the minced lamb while stirring and mashing it until browned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Get your spices ready and rinse the rice with water to get rid of some of the starch.

 

6. Turn the stove to High heat. Add the rice to a large pot and stir in the spices, ground lamb and 3/4 of the roasted almonds and pine nuts (reserve the rest for garnish). Add the chicken stock or water mixed with drippings from the chicken, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil heavily for a couple of minutes, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer until rice is done (about 25 minutes). Taste the rice to see if it needs more seasoning. Leave it on the lowest setting until the rise is done.

 

 

7. Pour the rice onto a large serving platter. Cut the chicken into pieces and put the chicken on top of the rice. Drizzle the rest of the roasted pine nuts and almonds on top. 

 

This dish is often served with a green salad, such as  Fatoush or Taboleh). 

 

Here is what you need:

 

- 1 medium sized chicken (serves 4). If you are serving more than four but less than 8, you can add some drumsticks or giblets in addition to the one chicken. If serving 8 add another chicken.

- ground allspice to rub the chicken + 1 tsp. for the rice (if serving 6 use 1 1/4 tsp, if 8 use 1 1/2 tsp.)

- extra virgin olive oil to grease the baking dish (unless you have a rack)

- clean water to baste the chicken

- 1 1/4 cups white short grain rice (serves 4) (1 1/2 cup serves 6, 2 cups serves 8)

- 1/3 cup blanched almond halves

- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

- 1/3 cup pine nuts

- 5 oz. lean minced (ground) lamb

- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (if serving 6 use 3/4 tsp., 8 use 1 tsp.)

- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (if serving 6 or 8 use 1/2 tsp.)

- salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp.)

- 2 cups chicken stock or water with chicken drippings (serves 4) - 2 3/4 cups serves 6, 3 3/4 cups serves 8. 

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove the bag with intestines. Rub the chicken with allspice. Grease the roasting pan with a little olive oil (unless you have one with a rack) and roast for 1 and a half hours (20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes). After 30 minutes, baste the chicken with a little water, and thereafter, baste every 15 minutes until the chicken is done.

2. Over medium heat, with a tablespoon of butter, roast the pine nuts until golden brown, while stirring constantly to make sure they do not burn. Put them in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb the grease. Discard the used butter and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel (or clean the pan, but wait until cool or use very hot water so you don't ruin the pan).  Add another table spoon of butter to the pan and roast the almonds the same way.

3. Over medium/high heat cook the minced lamb while stirring and mashing it until browned.

4. Get your spices ready and rinse the rice with water to get rid of some of the starch.

5. Turn the stove to High heat. Add the rice to a large pot and stir in the spices, ground lamb and 3/4 of the roasted almonds and pine nuts (reserve the rest for garnish). Add the chicken stock or water mixed with drippings from the chicken, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil heavily for a couple of minutes, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer until rice is done (about 25 minutes). Taste the rice to see if it needs more seasoning. Leave it on the lowest setting until the rise is done.

6. Pour the rice onto a large serving platter. Cut the chicken into pieces and put the chicken on top of the rice. Drizzle the rest of the roasted pine nuts and almonds on top. 

 

This dish is often served with a green salad, such as  Fatoush or Taboleh). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. 

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