An indispensable, fragrant blend of spices for Eastern Mediterranean cooking, Turkish Baharat seasoning puts a unique stamp on this Persian-inspired dish. The blend starts with traditional Baharat ingredients: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves, Cumin, Nutmeg, Coriander and Paprika plus the addition of Mint and Cinnamon. Cooked in a turmeric and yoghurt stock and garnished with a nutty mixture of sour dried barberries and cashews, this chicken and rice meal has global comfort food written all over it.
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C , 300°F, Gas Mark 2. Rinse the rice in cold water, then place it in a small pan with 600ml (1 pint) of the chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce to a low simmer, cook until the rice is tender.
Soak the barberries in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain. In a pan add 10g of the butter then fry the barberries and the sugar, until they puff up. Add to the cooked rice with the spring onions. In a small bowl mix together the milk, Turmeric and the yoghurt then reserve.
Place a large casserole dish on a medium heat. Add 15g (½ oz) of the butter and fry the diced onion and pepper, cook without colouring then remove and reserve.
Place the chicken thighs in a bowl with the Baharat spice mix and combine. Add the remaining butter (reserving 15g) to the casserole dish and brown the chicken on both sides. Add the rest of the chicken stock and gently simmer for 15 minutes, or until cooked. Remove the chicken from the stock and reserve the cooking liquid. Use the remaining butter to rub around the base and edges of the casserole pot.
Layer ½ of the cooked rice in the casserole dish then arrange the chicken pieces on top. Layer the remaining rice, barberry mix and add the onions on the top with yoghurt, milk and the juices from the chicken. Cover the casserole dish and place in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Serve straight from the pot.