Sophie’s Chicken

My friend Sophie is younger than me… ONE lonely day.  I am not even sure if it was a full 24 hours.  I was born on Sept. 25 and she on the 26th (evidently!)  our moms were in the same hospital room.  We lived in the same neighborhood until 6th grade when my family moved to a SMALL town…and when I say small I mean SMAAAAAALLLLL.  (this fact is irrelevant but I thought I should share!)

This is where we grew up! Lovely isn't it?

So I have known her my whole life.  Exciting isn’t it!  We haven’t always been in contact but somehow we always find one another.  I remember one year my friend Martine invited me to a college party (different college than mine) and as I am walking around I bumped into Sophie, yep just like that.  Of course now, thanks to Facebook you can find anyone…maybe even your first grade boyfriend’s mother’s sister’s cousin twice removed!  Come to think of it, this is probably why my husband refuses to have a Facebook account….maybe too many skeletons in his closet?  I can appreciate that.  Thanks honey for not letting people come out of the woodwork looking for you….but I digress…

Sophie sent me this lovely recipe, she has quite a gang to feed (4 growing boys!) and this is a family favorite!  I was so excited to get her email, I love friends’ recipes!  When I read it I knew I wanted to make it during the holiday, especially for a Family Supper, yummy!

It has everything I LOVE: chickens thighs, saffron, rice and toasted nuts….what more can a girl want?

Note: I made half of Sophie’s recipe, it was more than enough for the 4 of us, with a leftover lunch for me the next day.  Decide what works for your crew, all you have to do is cut everything by half.


2 pinches saffron

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

16 chickens thighs, boneless, skinless and cut into large chunks

4 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 onions diced

2 red peppers diced

4 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 1/2 cup long grain rice (all I have is Jasmine and it worked fine)

6  cups hot chicken broth

4 bay leaves

2 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15-ounces each)

2/3 cup raisins (optional, it was a big no-no at my house when I said it was part of the recipe)

1 cup toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts

6 tablespoons chopped parsley (I forgot to buy some….)

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

In a small bowl, put your saffron and add 4 tablespoons boiling water.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

redundant but I LOVE saffron!

In a large stock pot/dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add your chicken, coriander and cumin.  Let this cook while stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.  Remove to a plate.

Lower your heat and add the remaining oil, add your onions, peppers and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Add your rice, return the chicken to the dutch oven and add 3/4 of your chicken broth.  Add the bay leaves and saffron (and saffron water).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Adding chicken broth if necessary (so keep an eye on it!)

Add the chickpeas and raisins (if using…which you should, don’t be like us, we are raisin chickens!)  Let cook until rice is soft and tender.  (I would say another 5-10 minutes)

pure delicious flavors happening all at once!

Serve with toasted nuts and chopped parsley (unless you forgot to buy some like me!)

just close your eyes and imagine a little green parsley 🙂


Printer friendly: Sophie’s Chicken Rice Pilaf with chicken and chickpeas

Peace and 1 day younger….that’s just not cool!


Another note: Sophie calls this dish: Rice Pilaf with Chicken and Chickpeas but I think Sophie’s Chicken is a much better name, don’t you think?


6 thoughts on “Sophie’s Chicken

  1. Isabelle, I’m seeing a fantastic dish for Christmas with the red peppers and your “imaginary green parsley.” 🙂 Talk about a flavor parade… (Better than Macy’s?!) So glad your friend shared her recipe and even happier you shared it with us. Thanks! Merry Christmas!

  2. I`m pretty sure you talked about Saint-Georges…it’s not so SMALLLLL….Maybe small but with lovely people…isn’t it?
    Bonne journée Isabelle

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