Summer chicken pilaff recipe

(63 ratings)

Try this Summer chicken pilaff from Woman's Weekly for a tasty, quick and easy mid-week meal. Throw leftover chicken into this spicy Indian-style rice dish to make sure nothing goes to waste!

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories633 Kcal32%
Fat16 g23%

This summer chicken pilaff makes for a tasty mid-week meal that delivers lots of flavour with very little fuss. Throw leftover chicken into this spicy Indian-style rice dish and you have yourself one satisfying family meal. Our summer chicken pilaff is a budget-friendly dish that is perfect for feeding a crowd. If you're hosting a BBQ or want to try something exciting in your picnic, this rice dish is perfect. To make this dish vegetarian simply use vegetable stock and do not add the chicken. Our summer chicken pilaff uses a simple combination of chilli, turmeric, citrus and fresh herbs to deliver lots of flavour. When buying spices always check the world food aisle in the supermarket as they are often a lot cheaper.


  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
  • ½tsp ground turmeric, optional
  • 350g (12oz) basmati rice
  • 600ml (1 pint) hot chicken stock
  • Zest (in long shreds) and juice of 1 large orange
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ready-to-eat dried apricots, snipped into strips, or 100g (3½oz) sultanas
  • About 400g (14oz) cooked chicken, shredded
  • Good handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1tbsp roughly chopped unsalted pistachios




  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 mins, until soft and pale. Add the chilli and turmeric, if using, and cook for another minute. Stir in basmati rice to coat it in the oil.
  2. Mix in the stock, orange juice, seasoning and apricots, or sultanas. Bring just to the boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 18-20 mins, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice tender. Don't stir the rice during this time.
  3. When the rice is cooked, gently fork in the chicken, and season, and reheat for a minute or two.
  4. Just before serving, sprinkle in the parsley, orange zest and pistachios. Serve warm or cold. If serving cold, cool the rice, and then add the cold cooked chicken, parsley, zest and nuts. (Not suitable for freezing).
Top Tip for making Summer chicken pilaff

Woman's Weekly cookery editor Sue McMahon says: Make your own fresh chicken stock, using leftover roast chicken and our recipe.


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