Lebanese chicken and rice with preserved lemon and nuts

Gemmayze St restaurant's head chef and owner Samir Allen shares his family's recipe for Lebanese chicken and rice. Spiked with preserved lemon and scattered with nuts, this dish was made for sharing

By Samir Allen
  • 30 mins cooking
  • 2 hrs marinating
  • Serves 10
  • Print
This recipe was first published in Taste magazine.
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Chicken thighs
  • 1 kilogram boneless chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • olive oil
  • 100 millilitre lemon juice
  • 200 gram toasted mixed nuts (sliced almonds, pine nuts, pistachios), to serve
Lebanese rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 5 clove garlic, sliced
  • 200 gram lamb mince
  • 500 gram long grain rice
  • 2 litre chicken stock*
  • 100 gram preserved lemon, flesh removed and skin diced


  • 1
    Place chicken in large bowl and rub with salt, cumin, cinnamon and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Cover and place in fridge to marinate for 2 hours.
  • 2
    For rice, heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until soft.
  • 3
    Add lamb mince and cook, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until lamb is browned.
  • 4
    Add rice and toast, stirring, until translucent. Add stock and simmer until rice is cooked, stirring every 5 minutes; the rice should have a risotto-like consistency.
  • 5
    Stir through preserved lemon and season with salt (about 2 tsp) and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
  • 6
    To cook chicken, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add thighs, skin-side down, and fry until skin is crisp and meat cooked through. Turn thighs over and deglaze pan with lemon juice.
  • 7
    Place rice in a large serving bowl. Arrange chicken on top of the rice and pour any pan juices over the chicken. Check toasted nuts and chop any big ones, then sprinkle over dish and serve.


  • Check label if eating gluten free - Serves 8-10.