Iraqi Red Rice

Iraqi Red Rice

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Total Time:


3 cups Royal Sella Basmati Rice

4 full chicken legs, skin on, bone-in

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ onion, finely chopped

6 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

2 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 dried limes

4 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

¼ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup raisins


  1. Start by finely chopping the onions
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil to a pot and sear the chicken legs until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan and work in batches if required
  3. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the finely chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened
  4. Add the salt, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and dried limes. Stir for 2 minutes
  5. Add all the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes
  6. Add the chicken legs back into the pot. Pour 6 cups of hot water until chicken is covered
  7. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 45 minutes
  8. Uncover the lid and allow the chicken to continue simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the broth
  9. Remove the chicken and set aside on a lined baking sheet
  10. Strain the broth from the spices and place it back into the pot. Measure exactly 4.5 cups of broth for the rice. Bring to a boil
  11. Add the rice, stir a few times to combine, then bring to a boil again
  12. Cover the rice with a tight fitting lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes
  13. Meanwhile, create a basting sauce with 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses and a sprinkle of salt
  14. Brush the sauce over the chicken legs and broil at 500F for 5-7 minutes until crispy and browned
  15. In a small skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil, and toast the almonds for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add the raisins and warm through for an additional 1 minute
  16. Serve the rice on a platter, topped with the almonds, raisins, and chicken