I love New York City! It is a city full of diversity, from it’s art to it’s delicious foods from all over the world. One my favorite places to eat in NYC is not a fancy restaurant but a food cart-the Halal Guys. If you may or may not know, the Halal Guys is a Mediterranean food cart. They are famous for their platter of chicken and gyro over rice with white sauce. Now,they are all over NYC; they also branched out throughout the US. My favorite food cart to go to is the one in West 53 ST. & 6 AVE. (southeast corner).
Most of the time it is packed. So I decided to make my own version of the chicken and rice with the white sauce with the help of Serious Eats’ recipe. I didn’t follow this recipe step by step, but it guided me to make this delicious dish. I have to say it tastes almost exactly like it! Ever since making it my husband and family can’t have enough of it neither can I!
I start off by marinating the chicken (chicken breasts) . This step is important; it’ll give your dish so much flavor! Trust me. Marinating takes about an hour or two.
You can adjust the spices any way you want (add more or less)
- 1/2 cup of olive oil (any oil you desire)
- squeeze half of a lemon
- 2 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 cloves of garlic
- fresh or dry cilantro
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 3 cups of chicken broth (or 3 cups of water with 3 bouillon chicken cubes)
- 1 cardamom and clove (optional)
While the chicken is marinating, make the rice and white sauce. In a saucepan, melt butter and add the cumin, cardamom and clove, ‘toast’ the basmati rice for about 2 minutes before adding the chicken broth. Keep stirring, do not let it burn. When the rice is lightly toasted add the broth and season with salt.
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- half a lemon
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- paprika and cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper
The white sauce has to be the best part of this meal! You cannot have this meal without the sauce. It really does complete the meal. In a bowl, whisk in the Mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon and gradually add water to make the sauce smooth and a little runny. Add the spices; you can really add as much as you want but always taste the sauce before adding too much.
After marinating the chicken, sauté half an onion in a pan drizzled with a little of oil. Once the onions are sautéed and have a light brown color to them, throw in the marinated chicken. Cook in medium-high heat. Keep stirring the chicken and do not lower the heat.
Plate your food. Add the chicken on top of the rice and drizzle the sauce. I also love adding a side of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
I love this dish. I can now make this at home and not wait hours in the food cart lines. It is very delicious and appetizing!
Make this for dinner, you will not regret it! Do not forget the white sauce!