Curried Chicken and Rice Casserole

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 35 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
A nod to Indian biryani, buttery rice tossed with shredded coconut gets baked together with a savory chicken stew in this satisfying veg-packed casserole dish.



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the rice, coconut water, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover; cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat; let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the butter and coconut; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the scallions, cilantro, thyme, garlic, habanero and 1/2 cup water in a food processor or blender; puree to make a smooth paste. Transfer 1 tablespoon to a small bowl; stir in the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup water. Transfer the remaining paste to a large bowl and add the chicken and 1 teaspoon salt; toss to coat.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the curry-scallion paste; cook, stirring, until the paste darkens and starts to separate, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked through, 15 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to medium high. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 15 more minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, the carrots, chickpeas and spinach. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the chicken is tender, 15 more minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with the rice mixture. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Top with golden raisins.