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Chicken, Rice & Shitake Mushrooms – A kind of Middle Eastern Fusion

Now that one of the warmest Winter Holiday Seasons in memory in NY is finally over, I thought I’d explore my taste again for the Levantine (after all with temperatures in the 70 f / 21 c range just before Christmas, it was certainly more Middle Eastern, than North American here!)

This dish was inspired by Iraqi dishes I’ve tried at the home of my Best Man’s parents, when I lived a stones throw from my co-blogger in London.  So thanks to Mr S for the inspiration!  When I first came up this recipe, I happened to have a bunch of fresh Shitake mushrooms to hand. So, just for the hell of it, I added them to the pot. I concede, they are not exactly traditional in middle eastern cuisine but, to my surprise they just worked and a new version of a more classic dish was invented. My wife loves it, as I hope you will too

The key ingredients

The key ingredients


  • 1 lb skinned boneless chicken thighs chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 6 oz shitake mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion diced medium fine
  • Just under a 1 tbsp cardamon seed pods, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and a pinch of chili flakes
  • Bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon (if small use the whole lemon)
  • 1 cup of Basmati rice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season


Chicken, Mushrooms etc in the pan

Chicken, Mushrooms etc in the pan

  • Cook the rice in water – I used a rice cooker
  • Add a few lugs of the olive oil to a large skillet and heat up on a medium light then stir in the onion, mushrooms and spices until the vegetables soften
  • In a separate skillet add a little more oil and saute the chicken
  • Stir the chicken into the spiced vegetable mix, add the lemon juice and cook for 10-15 minutes on a lower light, until all the flavors are combined, season to taste
  • Then simply mix with the rice and the fresh parsley. That really is it!

Serve with a basic middle eastern salad of chopped tomatoes and cucumber mixed with chopped fresh parsley with a lemon and olive oil dressing. Delicious easy to make…. almost middle eastern fare…..

Filed under: Chicken, Home-made Recipes, Meat

About the Author

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Almost as food obsessed as my Beagle Hound Millie, I am a keen amateur cook and consumer of fine chow with a weakness for the spices of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine and an obsession with Chu Toro, British Cheese and Single Malt Orkney Island Scotch (go figure), I slice at warp speed (scars on the fingers to prove it) and can rustle up everything from Mashed Potato to Maki in the flash of an eye!

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