• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 6 Servings

Alo-Balo Polo (Steamed Rice with Sour Cherries and Chicke

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Rice, Poultry

 Ingredients List

  • 4 c Cherries, sour; fresh, ripe,
  • ;pitted (about 2 pounds)
  • 6 tb Sugar
  • 1/4 c Olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lb Chicken
  • 1 ts Salt
  • 1 md Onion; peeled and cut into
  • ;1/8 inch thick slices
  • 1/2 c Water
  • 2 c Rice, iranian; imported or
  • ;other uncooked long, soaked
  • ;and drained
  • 8 tb Butter; melted
  • 1/4 ts Saffron threads; pulverized
  • ;with a mortar and pestle or
  • ;the back of a spoon, and
  • ;dissolved in 1 tablespoon
  • ;warm water



Combine the cherries and sugar in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan, and, stirring
gently, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer
uncovered for 2 or 3 minutes, or until the cherries have softened somewhat
and given off most of their liquid. Remove from the heat.
In a heavy 3 to 4 quart casserole, heat the olive oil over moderate heat
until a light haze forms above it. Pat the chicken completely dry with
paper towels and sprinkle it inside and out with salt. Brown the chicken in
the hot oil, turning it frequently with a large spoon or tongs and
regulating the heat so that the bird colors quickly and deeply without
Place the chicken on a plate and add the onion slices to the oil
remaining in the casserole. Stirring frequently, cook for about 10
minutes, or until the slices are richly browned. Return the chicken and
all of the juices which have accumulated on the plate to the casserole, add
the « cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to
low, cover tightly and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is
Transfer the chicken to a plate, set aside 2 tablespoons of the cooking
liquid and discard the onion slices. When the bird is cool enough to
handle, cut it into 6 or 8 serving pieces.
Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy 4 to 5 quart
casserole with a tightly fitting lid. Pour in the rice in a slow, thin
stream so the water does not stop boiling. Stir once or twice, boil
briskly for 5 minutes, then drain the rice in a sieve.
Pour the reserved chicken cooking liquid and 4 tablespoons of the melted
butter into the casserole and stir them together. Add half of the rice
and, with a spatula or spoon, smooth it to the edges of the casserole. Cook
uncovered over moderate heat for 5 minutes, then remove the casserole from
the heat and add the chicken and half of the reserved cherries. Spread the
remaining rice on top and pour in all the remaining cherries and their
cooking liquid. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes,
or until the rice is tender.
To serve, spoon about a cup of the rice into a small bowl, add the
remaining 4 tablespoons of melted butter and the dissolved saffron and stir
until the mixture is bright yellow. Place a layer of rice on a heated
platter. Arrange the chicken on top of it, cover the chicken with the
remaining rice and cherry mixture. Sprinkle the saffron rice on top. With
a metal spatula, lift the rice crust from the bottom of the casserole and
arrange small pieces of it around the edge of the platter.

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