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
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.