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overhead: plate of crispy, golden kabsa
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4.82 from 11 votes

Kabsa (Arabic Chicken and Rice)

Kabsa is a comforting, one pan chicken and rice dish with layers of flavor. Make this recipe for Saudi’s national dish; it’s fantastic!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Arabic, Middle Eastern
Servings: 6
Author: Kevin





  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Rinse the basmati rice in a sieve until water runs clear, this is optional, but I feel helps to keep the rice fluffy.
  • Melt butter in a large roasting pan, large stock pot, or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Brown the chicken, skin side first, for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn chicken over and then scatter the onion and garlic all around chicken and sauté. Cook until onion is tender and chicken is browned on both sides. Remove chicken from pan, cover and keep warm.
  • Stir in tomato puree, tomatoes, carrots, all the spices, water, chicken bullion cube and rice.
  • Top with browned chicken (skin side up), add dried lime and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil, lift chicken pieces out to stir rice mixture and then place chicken back on top. Bake another 15 minutes uncovered until rice is tender and chicken has browned more and reaches an internal temp of 165°F.
  • In a small saute pan, melt the butter and cook the almonds and raisins until golden brown (several minutes). Set aside.
  • Place the rice on a large serving dish, top with chicken pieces and garnish with chopped parsley, raisins and almonds.
  • Serve with pita and Shatta Sauce (red chile sauce or paste of choice - optional).



  1. You can use any bone-in pieces you prefer. 1 whole fryer, cut into 8-10 pieces, half chicken pieces, quarters, etc. Nutrition shown in this recipe card is based on using a 3lb bone-in fryer, cut into 8 pieces.
  2. If you prefer, 4 cups of chicken broth or stock may be substituted in place of the water and chicken broth cube.


Serving: 5oz | Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 766mg | Potassium: 632mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5738IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 3mg