8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 long cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
¾ cup basmati rice
3 to 4 cups boiling chicken broth
3 tablespoons sultanas
1½ tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1. In an extra-large re-sealable plastic bag, mix the salt, pepper, cardamom, cloves and ground cinnamon. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and massage the bag until it is well blended.
2. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, shake it well to coat the pieces and set aside for 20 minutes.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan with a tight fitting cover.
4. Brown both sides of the chicken pieces in the hot oil, adding any spices that remain in the plastic bag.
5. Add 1 to 1½ cups chicken broth and reduce the heat. When the liquids have come to a simmer, cover and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, turning at least once.
6. Remove the chicken pieces to a dish and cover with foil.
7. Pour the remaining liquid into a large measuring cup and set aside.
8. Wipe the bottom of the sauté pan with a paper towel to absorb any residual moisture; don’t worry about the brown bits.
9. Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil and the butter in the pan. When the foam subsides, add the brown sugar and the teaspoon of salt. Stir to blend.
10 Add the onions and sauté, stirring constantly, until the onions are a rich brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Take care not to scorch the onions.
11. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside in a suitable bowl or container. Do not wipe the pan.
12. Return the pan to a medium high heat and add the rice. Stir coating the rice with the residue of the onions. Add the liquid previous set aside from the chicken. Add 2 cups of the hot chicken broth, the cinnamon stick pieces and the sultanas. Stirring, bring all to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover tightly for about 15 minutes.
13. Add the chicken and the caramelized onions to the pan. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the rice is cooked but remains firm to the tooth.
14. Sprinkle with the herbs and serve.