Chicken and Rice (Kabseh) Recipe

This simple dish could easily feed up to 4 people or you could double it if you are having guests.  It is called Kabseh, and is originally a Saudi dish, especially when you add raisins (which we did not).  It is very easy to make and needless to say, delicious.

Remember to keep it simple, and you will do fine.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2 very hungry people or 4 moderately hungry people)

1 whole chicken (5lbs approx.) cut into 6-8 pieces

  • You can substitute lamb for chicken
  • you can do as much chicken as your pot can handle

Onion (Depends on the size of the onion, but we used two medium-sized onions)

Spices (Salt, pepper, mixed spices, cinnamon, curry, hot curry*optional, garlic powder)


Tomato paste

Basmati rice (2 cups)

Slivered almonds

Now, you are going to need a big pot. This is a great investment because you will find so many uses for it.


1. Clean the chicken any way you do it

  • I just use water to rinse it very well

2. Fill the pot with the chicken, add water until it covers the meat

3. Chop up 1-1.5 onions and throw into the pot

4. Add about a tablespoon each of salt and pepper (optional)

5. Let this boil for a good hour on the stove

6. Soak 2 cups of rice

7.  Meanwhile (about 30 minutes before you take the chicken off the stove), chop the rest of your onions and throw into a pot that you will use to cook the rice

8. Brown the onions

9. Add most of your spices (mixed spices, curries, salt & pepper, cinnamon-about three good shakes will do, be liberal about the amount of spices you use, be confident about throwing them in there but don’t go overboard.)

10. Add a small can of tomato paste

11. Mix together and add a little bit of chicken broth from your pot of boiling chicken until it is smooth

12. Add the rice and more chicken broth until the liquid is about an inch more than your dried rice

13. Boil for a few minutes and turn your stove down to about 2 and let cook for 20 minutes

14. While your rice is cooking, take your chicken off of the stove.

15. Sprinkle it with garlic powder and squeezed lemon juice.

16. Put on a pan under the broiler on high for about 10-20 minutes (Until it is brown and crispy).

    • Save the broth for anything you want to make in the future

17. Keep an eye on that chicken and chop up a salad (The smaller pieces, the better-more variety on the fork!)

18. Fry your almonds in a little bit of oil, don’t fry for too long because they will continue to cook even off the heat.

Now you ready to put it all together!

19. Scoop the rice on to a large platter and place the chicken pieces on top, lastly sprinkle your almonds over the dish.

20. Serve with plain yogurt, olives, and hot peppers, makes my mouth water just thinking about it, and I just got through eating it!

6 thoughts on “Chicken and Rice (Kabseh) Recipe

  1. I absolutely love my mum’s kabseh… we use baharat el kabseh (like mixed spice, especially made for kabseh) but I’m unsure of how to make it from scratch….. your kabseh is a job well done, and I’d like to try it without that baharat, considering I used over half the jar of it accidentally for something else (what a disaster!)

    Looks delicious, and so inspirational… next time I’ll ask mum to let me make it like yours… 🙂 I don’t think she’s got much of a choice considering I pretty much finished the kabseh baharat!

    • Yes, so many ways to make a dish-its crazy how we start with pretty much the same ingredients-ie chicken, pepper, etc, and end with such variety. This version is the simple version I believe, which I am slowly learning works for me-every time I get too creative, things don’t quite turn out.

      I have only just been introduced to this spice called Mixed Spices and I am enjoying all the uses for it, although I wonder what it is exactly.

      When I lived with my mom, we had a whole cabinet of spices, now it seems we only have 10 maybe in my new home, and I am finding that few ingredients help me keep it simple.

  2. Pingback: How to Host Your Father on a Visit to San Diego | Miss Corrigan

    • My sisters tried to follow my recipe and it turned out horribly, but it was mostly because they used brown rice and did not use tomato paste. Its my experience that brown rice should not be made with anything, just alongside vegetables or something. Your recipes look wonderful, especially the Kanoli. Yum!

  3. Pingback: Chicken and Bread (Imsakhn) & Jews Mallow (Molukhia) | Miss Corrigan

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