Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Indonesian Pineapple Rice

This way of presenting rice not only looks spectacular, it also tastes so good that it can easily be served solo. Recipe serves 4.


3/4 cup natural peanuts
1 large pineapple
3 tablespoons groundnut or sunflower oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 chicken breasts (about 8 ounces/250 g) cut into strips
Generous 1 cup Thai fragrant rice, rinsed
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 lemon grass stalk, bruised
2 thick slices of ham, cut into julienne strips
1 fresh red chili, seeded and very finely sliced


1. Dry-fry the peanuts in a non-stick frying pan until golden. When cool, grind one-sixth of them in a coffee or herb mill and chop the remainder.
2. Cut a lengthwise slice of pineapple, slicing through the leaves, then cut out the flesh to leave a neat shell. Chop 4 ounces (125 g) of the pineapple into cubes; saving the remainder for another dish.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the chicken strips and stir-fry over a medium heat for a few minutes until evenly brown.
4. Add the rice to the pan. Toss with the chicken mixture for a few minutes then pour in the stock, with the lemon grass and a little salt. Bring to just below boiling point, then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes until both the rice and the chicken pieces are tender.
5. Stir the chopped peanuts, the pineapple cubes and the ham into the rice, then spoon the mixture into the pineapple shell. Sprinkle the ground peanuts and the sliced chili over the top and serve.

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