This recipe is adapted from Mary Laird Hamady's "Lebanese Mountain Cookery," one of my favorite cookbooks. It is a real treat for guests -- we swoon over the combination of sweet spices and nuts.
2 med onions, chopped
3 Tbs oil
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 chicken, cut in 4 pieces
1 c water
2 1/2 c stewed tomatoes
1 Tbs tomato paste
10 whole cardamom pods
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (pref freshly ground)
1 c long grain rice
2 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 c whole almonds
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4 c raisins
1. Saute onions in oil until golden, then add carrots and continue to cook until softened.
2. Saute chicken pieces in pan (high heat) with onions and carrots, adding more oil if necessary to brown well.
3. Stir in 1 c water, tomatoes, tomato paste, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is tender, 25-30 min. Remove chicken pieces and keep warm.
4. Stir rice and cumin into sauce. Cover and cook over very low heat for 25-35 minutes, until rice is done. (Check pan every 5-10 minutes and stir to prevent sticking).
5. While rice cooks, toast almonds and pine nuts in skillet over low heat.
6. To serve, arrange rice on a platter with the chicken on top. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, almonds, and raisins. Mary Hamady recommends serving this with a yogurt salad, or a side dish of plain yogurt (really enhances the dish, we like goat yogurt).