Puff Pastry Persian Fruit Rice Cake

by Marjan
Now that's a tongue twister! Try saying that back to back!
Make no mistake, this fruit cake is not going to be re-gifted! My recipe for a Savory Fruit Cake will be the highlight of your Holiday dinner party. Either you love or hate traditional sweet fruit cake served as desert this time of year. Personally, I never developed a palate for it. So if you have a delicious recipe, please share it with me.
For now, I am excited to share with you this recipe of aromatic basmati rice, chicken, spices, dried fruit and nuts to bring delicious exotic charm to your Holiday feast.
Using spices such as cumin, coriander and cardamom guarantees a delightful bite to be light, healthy and comforting to the soul. Dried fruits such as cherries, cranberries and apricots renders a sweet note to creamy fluffy basmati rice filled with tender chicken bites. This aromatic rice dish is baked to perfection in an elegantly designed puff pastry shell. Prepared hours in advance, you will have plenty of time to prepare other sides, appetizers and drinks for our Holiday gathering. Elegant, delicious, and crunchy bites will certainly make your holiday party a success! The only thing re-gifted here will be the recipe for this holiday savory fruit cake!



Serves 8-10
Ingredients

1/2 cup quality organic butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and cardamom powder
2 pounds chicken thighs; cut into bite size pieces
2 onions chopped into slivers
2 carrots peeled and chopped into lentil size pieces
1/4 cup each chopped dried cherries, cranberries, and apricots
*optional: 1/4 cup zereshk (barberries)
1/2 cup almond slivers
1/4 cup crushed pistachios
1 1/2 cups basmati rice (rinsed under cold water in a colander)
3 cups organic chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt and black pepper
1 cup organic milk
1 tablespoon rosewater
10" spring form cake pan with removable sides
1 egg yolk
2 sheets puff pastry
Follow directions for thawing pastry.
In a large pot melt butter over medium low. Add cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cardamom powder; stir frequently and cook for 5 minutes until aroma of spices release.  Toss in onions and saute until golden, stirring frequently for 10 minutes.  Add chicken and cook for another five minutes until pieces are slightly cooked.  Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add rice and blend in all ingredients and cook for 7-8 minutes until rice is al dente.  Add salt, pepper, milk, and rosewater.  Cook for an additional minute; turn off heat. Toss in dried fruits (cherry, cranberries, apricot and zereshk, if using) along with almond slivers and pistachios. Gently stir in all ingredients to evenly disperse but do not over stir, as rice will crumble and become crushed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spray cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out sheet of puff pastry, flatten and stretch pastry with a rolling pin to cover entire interior surface of cake pan. If half an inch of the pastry falls outside of the walls of pan, do not cut off excess. However, if more than an inch exists in certain areas, cut out extra parts of pastry which roll over outside edges to patch sides of cake pan not covered by pastry. Using your fingers, firmly seal edges of patched areas.  Spoon entire rice mix into cake pan.  With the second sheet of pastry, again using a rolling pan, flatten and stretch puff pastry.

Place pastry sheet over rice mix and seal edges by tucking under top sheet and tightly sealing with bottom pastry sheet.
Egg wash outside pastry dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove and cool for ten minutes prior to removing sides of pan. Cut cake into slices and serve.
If preparing hours in advance, cover with plastic wrap tightly and place in fridge for maximum of four hours prior to baking.


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