I wanted to share with you an incredible recipe my friend Zakiya @ Blend of Spice created. I was always blown away by her creative talents in the 10-ish years that we’ve known each other, but watching her transition into wife/motherhood has been exceptionally inspirational. I come from a pretty non-traditional household, my mom isn’t much of a cook and doesn’t love it the way I hear of other moms – like my MIL who is a beast in the kitchen *salivates*. Needless to say I was a bit unprepared & insecure about my domestic abilities when I was thrown into having a household of my own. So while I can’t come up with amazing dishes on my own (yet..?), I can follow recipes without fail haha. I’ve gotten into a horrible habit of not saving the recipes that have worked out well for me, so every time I want to make the dish again I have to scour the internet until I find the page that might be it. So this begins my attempt to not only earmark an incredible dish, but also share it with you, & introduce you to my gf Zakiya!
My relationship with my husband began in New York, for the year and a half that we were dating & engaged I was in the city at least once a month. We were young with more energy then (ha!) so after our nights out, we’d always end up at The Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th at 4am. Their chicken & rice has become so iconically New York that I can’t not get some every time I visit, even now. Let’s be honest though… it’s only really good at 4am, any other time you’re left with a stomach ache and you end up hating yourself. It is fast street food after-all. I’ve kept an eye on Zakiya’s recipes on her blog for awhile and have made notes of tons of things I’ve been wanting to make (Rasmali cake.. HELLO!?) but never really got around to it. But the moment I saw her chicken & rice recipe I began preparing immediately.
I’ve made the dish twice already, mostly to make sure I wasn’t just lucky the first time because it was so mouthwateringly delicious. Dare I say it….. its actually better than the real thing. How can it not be though? Fresh ingredients, less grease, not sitting on a street all day! It’s so easy to make too, I made very very slight tweaks based on preference and what I had available in my kitchen so be sure to check out Zakiya’s OG recipe as well. The second time around I also figured out a streamline way to make the three parts – the white sauce and chicken need to sit for awhile, so when I made it the first time I was a bit out of order and I didn’t have enough time for my sauce to develop. IMO it’s most efficient to go in this order…. let’s begin with the white sauce!