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Tah-Cheen (Basmati Rice with Chicken)

Yield: 4 servings

2 1/2 Cups Basmati rice 
1/2 tsp. Saffron
1/2 cup hot Water 
3 Egg yolks
1 Cup yogurt, plain
1/3 Cup Oil 
2 lb. whole Chicken 
Salt
Pepper

Start by washing rice and soaking it in warm water (with added salt) for 2 hours. Then filter out the water.

Wash and cut chicken, remove skin, and fry in oil. Add some water and bring to boil. Turn heat down and let boil slowly until cooked, adding more water if needed. Remove the bones.

While chicken is cooking, beat the yogurt until it is smooth. Dissolve saffron in half a cup of hot water. Add saffron, salt, pepper and egg-yolks to the yogurt and mix very well.

Pour a few glasses of water in a large pot and bring to boil. Pour in rice and cook while stirring occasionally until rice grows longer and slightly softens (Do not overcook the rice. It should still be too hard for eating). Again strain out the water.

Pour several spoons of oil and several spoons of the yogurt mix into a pyrex baking dish. Add a thin layer of rice and flatten using the back of a spoon. Add a layer of chicken on top followed by another layer of rice. Again flatten the rice. Spread several more spoons of the yogurt mix on the rice. Continue until chicken, rice and the yogurt mix have been used up. Add some more oil on top. 

Place the pot in an oven (preheated to 250 F) and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours. The longer it is cooked, the thicker the delicious crispy layer of rice at the bottom will be. When cooked, remove the lid and let cool for a few minutes.

Place an inverted large dish over the pot and turn it over. Tap the pot in order to loosen the contents inside. The contents should fall on the dish in one piece with the crispy rice layer on the outside.

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