My Grandmother’s Lebanese Chicken and Rice

Today marks the two year anniversary of my angel going to heaven. My angel, of course, is my sito (the way she wanted us to spell it) or sitto–which is Lebanese Arabic for grandmother.

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I could talk about her for hours–about what she taught me about love and family and taking care of others. I could talk about how great her hugs and kisses were, or the way she said “I love you.” I just don’t think my words could do justice to how amazing she actually was and the way she affected the person I am today.

She was so special to me and I still get choked up every time I think about her.


In honor of her, I made one of my favorite dishes that she would make for me: Lebanese Chicken and Rice.


It’s simple and comforting…exactly what I need today.

RECIPE: makes enough to feed you, all of your friends, and your cat

  • 2-3 bone-in split chicken breasts
  • 1 pound ground beef**
  •  a couple tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth (from cooking chicken)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper


  • Fill a large pot 2/3 way with water and bring to a boil. Place chicken breasts in pot and cook about 45 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Take chicken out to rest and cool and save chicken broth. Peel chicken off the bone and rip into pieces. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Warm oil in a large saute pan bringing it to medium heat and brown ground beef. When done, drain the fat and add butter to pan with beef. Toast pine nuts in the butter and beef mixture for a few minutes on medium heat. Mix in allspice and cinnamon. Take off heat.
  • Pour rice into 13 x 9 glass dish. Put chicken and beef mixture on top. Add salt and pepper. Pour 4 cups of saved broth all over mixture and give a little mix.
  • Cover pan in foil and cook in oven for about an hour.
  • Spoon onto a plate and enjoy with plain yogurt or pita bread.

**I have used ground turkey in the past and it tastes just as delicious.



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