Chicken and Fava Bean Polo

How to turn a fail into a success…

I had planned to make chicken tinga for dinner, when I realized that I had defrosted the wrong chicken, had no tomatoes, no chipotle peppers, and no corn tortillas 🤦‍♀️. So I explored my options knowing that I needed to use the chicken tonight. We had broccoli, maybe a stir fry? I had Fava beans in the freezer…


Hmm. I also had tater tots…yes! And thus, tonight’s dinner was decided.

Then I needed to decided on the flavors. It was a good up between dill and cumin/turmeric. I wanted to use tomato paste, so cumin/turmeric won. Look at the pretty color of the mixture…


For the tahdig, I finally figured out the best approach for the tater tots – cook them halfway, then put a mixture of oil and water in the pot before placing the taster tots. They came out perfectly.


Chicken and Fava Bean Polo

½ package tater tots, cooked halfway

10 oz frozen fava beans, cooked according to package directions

3 cups basmati rice

1 onion, chopped

1 Tbsp and 1 tsp canola or safflower oil, separated

1 lb chicken breast, cut into bit-sized pieces

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

Kosher salt


Place the rice and 2 quarts of salted water in a pot and bring to a boil. When the water boils, check the rice by biting a piece; once the rice is almost cooked through (there is still a bite to the center), drain the rice, rinse with cold water and drain again. Note: if you are using a Persian rice cooker, place the rice and 4 cups of water in the rice cooker and cook for 10 minutes, just until the water is absorbed, then remove the rice to a bowl. Rinse as above.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and brown, about 4 minutes per side. Add the tomato paste, stir and fry for 1 to 2 minutes.


Add the spices, season with salt and stir.


Remove from heat and stir in the cooked fava beans.


Place 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp water in the bottom of the pot or rice cooker. Arrange the tater tots in a single layer on the bottom. Add 1 – 2 cups of rice to cover the tater tots and pat down.


Mix the rest of the rice with the chicken mixture.


Add to the pot, cover with a clean towel and place the lid on top. Cook on medium-low for 45-50 minutes. Note: is using a rice cooker, reset the timer to 50 minutes.




Serves 6




One Comment Add yours

  1. Ahaha what great creativity and fast thinking from you! That looks absolutely terrific


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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