Polynesian Chicken & Basmati Rice

Missing the savory fare I enjoyed during my cruise to French Polynesia, I decided to experiment with some recipes. This one is a keeper; I am especially fond of it because I can prepare the chicken ingredients early in the day and store it in the fridge. Then, at the end of a long afternoon of piano teaching, all I have to do is pour it into a pan, pop the pan in the oven, cook up some basmati rice and, voila! Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes!

POLYNESIAN CHICKEN

4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon hoison sauce
2 star anise
2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
10 green onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

BASMATI RICE WITH STAR ANISE AND CARDAMOM

Thoroughly rinse 2 cups basmati rice to remove excess starch. Combine rice with 3 cups water, 2 whole star anise, 3 cardamom pads, gently torn open, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Cover and quickly bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently for about 12 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

The star anise and cardamom really make this rice special. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!