This upside-down chicken, vegetable and rice dish is a signature recipe for chef Moshe Basson, who served it in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center festival honoring Israel's 50th anniversary.
- 3 medium onions, sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 threads saffron
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Sea salt to taste
- 3 medium potatoes, sliced
- 1 small head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 medium eggplant, quartered and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 6 skinless chicken breasts
- Dash of paprika
- 2 1/2 cups brown basmati rice, uncooked
- 3-5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- In large sauté pan, cook onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until golden. Add saffron, turmeric, thyme, nutmeg and pepper to taste. Set aside onion mixture.
- Sauté potatoes in 1 tablespoon of oil in non-stick pan until lightly golden, but not cooked through. Set aside.
- Sauté cauliflower in remaining oil. Set aside. In the same pan, sauté eggplant until lightly browned.
- Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with turmeric and paprika.
- In large Dutch oven pot, spread sautéed onion along the bottom and arrange chicken over onion layer. Place eggplant slices between chicken breasts. Distribute cauliflower over the top, then repeat with potato slices.
- Spread uncooked rice over potatoes. Add broth to cover. Place pot, uncovered, over a medium flame and let liquid simmer 15 minutes. Then cover pot, reduce heat and cook on low for 30-45 minutes to cook rice. Add more liquid if needed to keep mixture moist, but be careful not to add so much that rice becomes sticky or risotto-like.
- Test for doneness by removing the cover and sniffing; when it smells a little burned, it's ready.
- Take a round metal tray and place on top of pot. Turn pot over onto tray, patting the top to release chicken. Remove pot or use a large spoon to transfer rice, vegetables and chicken to a platter.