Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Manhattan is known for a lot of different type of foods throughout the city ranging from restaurants, cafes, diners, fast food, hole in the wall spots and of course various food cart trucks.  I often hear people mention hot dogs as the first thing that comes to their minds when I ask what they know about food cart trucks in New York city.  However with today’s food scene, there is simply so much more such as Korean taco trucks, burger trucks,  Asian Mexican fusion food truck and a whole lot more.

One of my favorite food trucks to eat dating back to when I used to work in Manhattan is the Halal food cart trucks.  You could pick up a nice big platter of one of those Halal-Cart style chicken with rice and white sauce for around 5 bucks! This has become a staple of New York city, perhaps even more so than hot dogs. Every now and again I would have a craving for this and thankfully there are some spots near by my area for me to buy it if I want it.  I have been wanting to make this dish for quite some time and stumbled upon this recipe from Serious Eats.  I followed it to a dime the first time around and it came out pretty good, but felt I could tweak some steps to make things a bit easier.  So here is my adapted version of Serious Eat’s Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce. It came out pretty delicious and it will definitely be made frequently at home!  Happy early Labor Day everyone!

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1/2 tsp ground coriander

3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)

1/4 cup light olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (as desired)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (cut into 1/2- to 1/4-inch chunks)

1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

For the rice:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (as desired)

For the sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 1/2  stevia (packets) or 1 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Directions:

For the chicken:

1. Combine the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a nice desired consistency (either a little chunky garlic or smooth is fine). Season the marinade to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

2. Place the chicken in either a steep plate or 1-gallon zipper-lock bag and add half of the marinade (reserve the remaining marinade in the refrigerator).

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

3. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

4. Remove the chicken from the bag or plate and pat it dry with paper towels.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

5. Season with sea salt and pepper, going heavy on the pepper.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

6. Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless-steel skillet or even a wok over medium-high heat until it is lightly smoking.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

7. Add the chicken pieces in small batches at a time to avoid crowding the pan and cook without disturbing until they are lightly browned on the first side, so about 4 minutes each side.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

8. Flip the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the center of each thigh. Transfer the chicken to a separate plate and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

For the rice:

1. Wash and rinse rice with water a few times first. Then add rice to rice cooker pot.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

2. Add the turmeric, cumin, chicken broth and cover lid.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

3. Power on your rice cooker and let it cook until its ready. It will power off on its own when the rice is done. Then proceed to add 2 tbsp. of butter and stir the rice a good few times to ensure the butter is mixed well with all the rice. Cover lid back on and keep warm until ready to serve.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

For the sauce:

1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 teaspoons black pepper.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

2. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

To serve:

Return the chicken and the reserved marinade (optional) to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. To serve, divide the rice, lettuce, tomato, and toasted pita (optional) bread evenly among four plates. Pile the chicken on top of the rice. Top with the white sauce and hot sauce. Serve immediately, passing extra sauce at the table.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

Manhattan is known for a lot of different type of foods throughout the city ranging from restaurants, cafes, diners, fast food, hole in the wall spots and of course various food cart trucks. I often hear people mention hot dogs as the first thing that comes to their minds when I ask what they know about food cart trucks in New York city. However with today's food scene, there is simply so much more such as Korean taco trucks, burger trucks, Asian Mexican fusion food truck and a whole lot more.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 2 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15

Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1/2 tsp ground coriander

3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)

1/4 cup light olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (as desired)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (6 to 8 thighs)

1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

For the rice:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (as desired)

For the sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 1/2 stevia (packets) or 1 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

For the chicken:

1. Combine the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a nice desired consistency (either a little chunky garlic or smooth is fine). Season the marinade to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

2. Place the chicken in either a steep plate or 1-gallon zipper-lock bag and add half of the marinade (reserve the remaining marinade in the refrigerator).

3. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

4. Remove the chicken from the bag or plate and pat it dry with paper towels.

5. Season with sea salt and pepper, going heavy on the pepper.

6. Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless-steel skillet or even a wok over medium-high heat until it is lightly smoking.

7. Add the chicken pieces in small batches at a time to avoid crowding the pan and cook without disturbing until they are lightly browned on the first side, so about 4 minutes each side.

8. Flip the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the center of each thigh. Transfer the chicken to a separate plate and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

For the rice:

1. Wash and rinse rice with water a few times first. Then add rice to rice cooker pot.

2. Add the turmeric, cumin, chicken broth and cover lid.

3. Power on your rice cooker and let it cook until its ready. It will power off on its own when the rice is done. Then proceed to add 2 tbsp. of butter and stir the rice a good few times to ensure the butter is mixed well with all the rice. Cover lid back on and keep warm until ready to serve.

For the sauce:

1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 teaspoons black pepper.

2. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

To serve:

Return the chicken and the reserved marinade (optional) to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. To serve, divide the rice, lettuce, tomato, and toasted pita (optional) bread evenly among four plates. Pile the chicken on top of the rice. Top with the white sauce and hot sauce. Serve immediately, passing extra sauce at the table.

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2 Responses to “Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce”

  1. #
    1
    michael — August 30, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

    I didn’t see the use of butter in the rice directions

    Reply

    • Jerry Ko — August 30th, 2015 @ 5:54 pm

      Thank you for pointing that out Michael. I’ve updated the post with the directions for the use of butter with the rice :)

      Reply

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