F1 Food Challenge – Chicken Machboos

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve recently started getting into F1, and have decided to further this interest by cooking one meal a week from each country the racing is in. Last week this was Bahrain, and after a brief search online (and some inspiration from a friend of mine also doing the challenge) I came up with Chicken Machboos.

Chicken Machboos is a Bahraini meal made of chicken and rice (a classic mix in most cuisines) full of different spices and lots of flavour. The recipe I used can be found here — but I’ll also transcribe it below. I made a few changes to it as there were some ingredients I couldn’t access, and also the original recipe didn’t advise on how many servings it would make. I erred on the side of more is better, and as a result we had loads left over (I cooked this for three people, two days ago, and we only finished all the rice today at lunchtime).

This is overall a pretty easy dish to make, and provided you have the right ingredients, I would say its a good mid-week dinner, whether its for a large family, or just yourself (with a few extra meals left over). The one thing I struggled with (a problem entirely of my own making) was the fact that the chicken legs I was working with were so big, and my pan too small, that they didn’t properly cook in the pan — to counteract this I made sure to give them a bit more time in the oven, of course.

Please let me know if you try this recipe, and if you do, what you think of it! Or if you’ve had it before/are from Bahrain and think I messed it up, I would love to hear about how you’ve had it before.

Recipe (serves 3-4)


  • 4 whole chicken legs
  • 1.5 tsp bezar spice mix
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardmom powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 dried black lime
  • 1 thumb-sized bit of ginger (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • fresh coriander
  • lime juice
  • 2 cups soaked and drained basmati rice
  • extra butter


  1. Preheat the oven to about 200 degree, then marinade chicken in spice powders for 20 minutes.
  2. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan (medium heat), once hot enough add the cloves, finely chopped onion, chillies (I roughly chopped these), and the dried lime
  4. After a minute or so throw in the ginger and garlic.
  5. After another minute, add the chicken and tomato, cook this all until the chicken pieces turn white.
  6. Add the water, bring to a boil, and cover for 10 or so minutes on medium heat, until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Remove the chicken, throw in the lime juice and coriander
  8. Add the rice, bring to a boil on high heat then turn down the heat, cover the pan with foil and then with the lid. Cook this for 10 minutes.
  9. Put the chicken in the oven with some butter and roast until golden brown and slightly crisp. If you’re like me and need to make sure its properly cook, I would recommend doing this for 10 or so minutes covered in foil, then remove and let cook for another 5-10 without the foil.
  10. Once the rice is cooked, give it a stir to make sure nothings sticking to the bottom, and let it sit for another 8-10 minutes (covered) before serving.
  11. Serve up with some greek yoghurt and enjoy!

One response to “F1 Food Challenge – Chicken Machboos”

  1. […] food for this week was very similar to the Chicken Machboos I made last week, with a few variations on the spice front. Food from this part of the world is all […]

    Liked by 1 person

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