Maqluba (Upside Down) Palestinian Recipe
Maqluba, means “upside down” in Arabic. It is a Palestinian recipe that is made in one pot and then tossed upside down to serve. It is beloved all over the Arab world. The first time I made it was for a Syrian student at the UW. He was so impressed that I would make a dish that reminded him of home. I must say it was a bit daunting at first, however, after I made it I realized it was not that difficult. It can be layered with the meat of your choice and a variety of vegetables, my favorite is eggplant.
I spent some time in Israel with my Palestinian friends and Christine gave me her recipe, she uses chicken with her favorite vegetables. The dish is layered starting with the meat, vegetables, ending with rice. The layers will loosely shape to the cooking pot. It may fall apart when flipped but just patch it back together. See my video for the process of making Maqluba. Serve Maqluba with olives, pickles, yogurt, and Pita Bread.
4 lb Chicken cut up
2 Onions sliced
1 Celery diced
1 Carrot diced
1 Potato diced
1/2 cup peas
1 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups boiling water
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 kosher salt
Put the chicken pieces into a large bowl and add the 2 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, allspice, and cinnamon. Rub the spices into the chicken pieces until coated evenly. Heat a dutch oven and add 2 tablespoons oil. Heat the oil and then add the chicken pieces. Brown on both sides.
Meanwhile, dice the celery, carrots, and potatoes, set them aside. Cut cauliflower into small pieces and drizzle with olive oil and salt then roast in the oven until brown.
Once the chicken has browned remove from the dutch oven and place on a platter. Now add 1 tablespoon oil to the same pot and heat. Add the sliced onions and saute until translucent and slightly browned. When the onions are finished, add the browned chicken and cover with water. Place on medium heat and cook for approximately 30 minutes until the chicken has reached 170 degrees or fork tender.
While the chicken is cooking you can prepare the rice. Allow the rice to soak in water to remove the starch about 30 minutes. After the allotted time rinse the rice and place into a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix and set aside.
Layering begins by removing the chicken pieces from the broth and place them skin side down in a dutch oven. Now starting with sauteed onions, then carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, layering them all and finally topping it off with the seasoned rice. Take a small salad plate and invert on top of the rice. Strain 4 cups of the chicken broth and pour over the plate to fill the dutch oven without disturbing the rice. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
To serve, remove the Maqluba from the burner and let sit for 20 minutes to set the contents inside. Then uncover the pot and invert onto a platter with sides. Lift the pot carefully off and viola a beautifully layered dish.
Serve with olives, pickles, yogurt and pita bread.