Hye Thyme Cafe: Armenian Wedding Pilaf

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Armenian Wedding Pilaf

 Armenian Wedding Pilaf: Hye Thyme Cafe

If this was for an actual wedding, it would obviously be made in mass quantities, and depending on the menu, it would either contain no meat at all or, more probably, would include lamb, but I opted for chicken. I'm not a big fan of dates, but many versions also include dates. If you wanted to get extra fancy, you could steep some saffron and use that liquid in place of some of the other liquid to give the rice that pretty yellow hue.

The amounts of fruit and nuts are certainly optional, or you could choose to include different fruit and/or nuts. As I mentioned, many people use dates, while others include prunes, pine nuts, walnuts, etc.

2 chicken breasts, diced
4 T butter, divided
1 c rice
1/3 c shireh (browned vermicelli - see Pilaf for methods)
2 c chicken broth (or water or a combination)
salt and pepper
10 dried apricots, diced
3 T currants
3 T slivered almonds
3 T pistachios

  1. Start by dicing your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Mine were actually a little larger than necessary this time. You could also use leftover cooked chicken.
  2. Cook the chicken in 3T of the butter, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Because the pieces are small, this should just take a few minutes. If you would like to actually brown the chicken, reduce the amount of butter to just 1T to start, adding the other 2 as needed or at the end. You do want to use it all though, to flavor the dish.
  3. Stir in the rice and shireh and let that cook in the butter for a minute or so, seasoning with salt and pepper (bear in mind that your pistachios may be salted).
  4. Stir in the broth (and/or water) and bring up to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. While the rice is cooking, heat the remaining 1T of butter and saute the apricot pieces and currants until plump and fragrant.
  6. Add the almonds to the fruit mixture and continue cooking until the almonds are lightly browned. If your rice is not done yet, remove the fruit/nut mixture from the heat and transfer to a small plate to prevent the almonds from burning.
  7. When the rice is done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a serving platter. Make an indentation in the center and fill with the fruit/nut mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the pistachios over the top.

Cook the diced chicken in 3T butter
Stir in the rice and shireh, then the broth.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until tender.

Approx 3T each - diced apricots, currants, slivered almonds
Saute the fruit in the remaining 1T butter, then add the almonds to brown.

Fluff rice with a fork, transfer to a platter, make indentation in center and fill with fruit/nuts, then sprinkle with pistachios.

Armenian Wedding Pilaf: Hye Thyme Cafe

Armenian Wedding Pilaf: Hye Thyme Cafe
Armenian Wedding Pilaf: Hye Thyme Cafe


  1. I need to try this. I found you over at the Pin It Thursday link party. I host Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday and would love it if you linked up this recipe. I’m sure our party goers would love it as much as I do. Here is the link http://bit.ly/1wsjSLy. Have a wonderful day!!

    1. Funny timing Lori - I just this minute finished eating the leftovers. :) Thanks for the invite - just linked up. I'm pretty sure I'm already following you and the other hosts in at least one place. Can't remember where I first encountered all of you - maybe Finish the Sentence Friday or another link-up. Looking forward to finding more interesting blogs through your hop. :)


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