Pantry Tips: The 60 Minute Machboos

Post by Hind

I cook a lot but there are some cuisines that always seemed a bit too out of reach, and that list sadly used to include Kuwaiti cuisine.

I always believed that Machboos would be way too difficult and too long to make to fit into my weekday cooking lifestyle. But I wanted to learn, so I tasked my Chef CoFounder Yousef Al Munayes to have a stab at making Machboos accessible to the average Jo. He being the whiz that he is, succeeded and I finally made my very first Kuwaiti dish at the ripe old age of 32.

When you break it down you can cook a whole Machboos in just one pot and in under an hour if the ratios are right. A small whole chicken for two can easily cook through in this time period just follow this simple recipe below and enjoy!

800 gram Whole Chicken (split in half with spine removed)
1.5 Cups Basmati Rice (soaked in cold water for 15-20mins)
2 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Small Red Onion Chopped
3 Tbsp Machboos Spice Mix (found in any grocery)
Rice Topping (1 Tbsp Rose Water, 2 Tsp Ground Cardamon, Few strands of Saffron)
1 Tbsp Vegetable stock
550ml Boiling water

1. Cook the chicken
Season the chicken with 3/4ths of the spice mix. Heat a deep sautee pan over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. When hot add the chicken skin side down. Cook for 6-8 mins or until the chicken is well browned. Flip and cook for 4-5 more mins. Set aside.

2. Cook the aromatics
In the same sautee pan used for searing the chicken, add the chopped onion, cook stirring occasionally for 3-4 mins or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and remaining spice mix, continue stirring for 1 minute.

3. Put it all together
Strain your rice and add to the pan along with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Gently stir for 1-2 mins, add the boiling water, season with vegetable stock, salt and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Top with the seared chicken pieces and cover. Set the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 30 minutes then take off heat. Open the lid, add the rice topping. Cover and let sit for 10 mins. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Post by Hind
CoFounder of PantryBee where home cooking is made easy.

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16 comments, add your own...

  1. mo says:

    thanks…..i will have a go at it this Saturday

  2. mocman says:

    Nice, you should make a GIF / video of the whole process, like the ones they have on reddit.

    Visuals are always better than just reading text

    • Mark says:

      She actually did one for another post but because the way the blog is, it would have to load the gif fully first and then the blog. And animated gif files are huge so the whole blog would ground to a hault until the gif loaded.

  3. fajer says:

    this looks so good! dont forget the raisins on the rice

  4. Kuwait says:

    An authentic chicken machboos needs the chicken to be boiled first and the chicken stock used for rice.

    Also once you do a proper lamb machboos, only then you are a machboos master.

    What baffles me though in general, is the whole boiling the chicken in all situations. Chicken pasta? boil the chicken first. Fried chicken? boil the chicken first. They say it’s to remove the ‘zafir’ (which i can only translate to non arabs as unpleasant foul smell?), well then why don’t you boil your fish then!

  5. Curiosity says:

    I live in the states and I always wanted to make food that would remind me of home like machboos, so I will definitely try making it and to follow these steps.
    but what is in the Machboos Spice Mix?
    I am pretty sure I won’t find it anywhere in America.

  6. A the cyclist says:

    I think this is the best recipe, usually I do boil the chicken and use the broth for rice cooking part, but I have to take the chicken out (after boil the chicken and before add the rice) to roast it in the oven or dry it to get the brown/golden color. This recipe in the last part when the chicken cooked together with the rice do the trick.

    For who want to make it in USA, try cornish hen instead of regular american chicken.

  7. A the cyclist says:


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