not quite maqloobeh (upside down rice)

This is a traditional Jordanian dish (Palestinian?) that got bob's attention when Isgouhi had a fantasy moment and expanded the pine nut contribution to include pistachios and sliced almonds as well. These nuts and the cinnamon provide the hook for this chicken and rice combo dish, "upside down" since it is traditionally served by inverting the contents of the pot in which it is cooked onto a serving plate. Yumm. Sounds a little trite to use such an unsophisticated word here but it seems deliciously appropriate. Bob planned to get Isgouhi to teach him the tricks in his own kitchen, but the teacher failed to show leaving the team no recourse but to go ahead after a phone chat for the particulars. Of course when she does it, she makes a family size recipe (twice this one) which has enough bulk to nicely invert on a plate to make an attractive bit of food art, dressed up with delicate placement of the nuts onto the resulting mound.


chikun base
1 lb chicken breasts
water to cover
3 c water
1 cinnamon stick
5 peppercorns
nut prep
1 c total of sliced almonds, pistachio halves and pieces, pine nuts
2 T butter
1 c Uncle Ben's long grained rice (we used brown rice for this nontraditional experiment)
spice mix
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t salt


  1. Cover the chicken  breasts with water, bring to a boil, boil 2 minutes and then remove from the heat and dump the water. [This cleans up the chicken.]
  2. Add the 3 c water, cinnamon and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and boil 15 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken and cut up into small pieces and set aside, leaving the liquid and spices in the pot until later.
  4. Brown the nuts in a nonstick rounded chef's pan about 10 minutes and then remove and set aside. We used our 5 quart chef's pan.
  5. Next brown the chicken in the remaining butter (browned) briefly (after all it is pretty cooked by this point).
  6. Return the chicken water to the chef's pan and add the rice and spices and bring to a simmer and cook covered for 45 minutes for brown rice, 20 minutes for ordinary rice. Let sit for 10-15 minutes with the heat turned off. Sprinkle the nuts over the mound after inverting on a serving plate so the chicken ends up on top.


  1. Why don't our recreations look as good as the original?
  2. Illustrations available.
nqmalube.htm: 18-aug-2006 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]