Upside Down Cauliflower Rice

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Upside Down Cauliflower RiceI have to be honest. About half the time I make this dish, it doesn’t come out of the pot quite like it did when I took the picture. Maybe the rice is a bit sticky, or maybe the whole tower sorta crumbles. But you know what? It doesn’t matter one iota. The taste on this one is sublime. So relax and enjoy, no matter how it turns out … Or, hold the photo up for your guests!

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp salt, divided
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 small onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lb chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 4 carrots, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups basmati or other long grain rice, uncooked
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower, olive oil, paprika, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper. Toss the cauliflower to coat. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the cauliflower in a single layer. Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, place a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add the onions and sauté until they become almost translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the chicken and continue to sauté for 4-6 minutes, or until well-browned. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, the remaining salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F. Using the 1 remaining tablespoon of butter, coat the insides of a baking dish. Layer the chicken along the bottom. Next, layer in the cauliflower. Next, layer the carrots. Top with an even layer of rice.
  5. Mix the turmeric into the chicken broth and slowly pour it into the baking dish, being sure not to disturb the layers. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked.
  6. While the maqluba is in the oven, place a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts are fragrant and slightly browned. Keep a close eye on them, as they go from uncooked to burned very quickly!
  7. Remove the maqluba from the oven. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the maqluba. Place a large platter over the top of the baking dish, and carefully flip. You may need to lightly jiggle and tap the baking dish in order to get the maqluba to release. If all else fails—just spoon it out. It won’t be as pretty, but I promise, your taste buds will never know.
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