Chicken and Rice Around the World

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Chicken and Rice Around the World
All around the world, chicken and rice go together like spaghetti and meatballs, or peanut butter and jelly. Rice is a staple food in many countries and chicken is a universal crowd pleaser—and more widely available than other meat. Of the countless variations, we’ve highlighted eight beloved chicken and rice dishes from around the world, but next time you’re traveling, make sure to try the local version.
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    A Classic Combination
    All around the world, chicken and rice go together like spaghetti and meatballs, or peanut butter and jelly. Rice is a staple food in many countries and chicken is a universal crowd pleaser—and more widely available than other meat. Of the countless variations, we’ve highlighted eight beloved chicken and rice dishes from around the world, but next time you’re traveling, make sure to try the local version.

    Photo by cegoh/Pixabay
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    Arroz con pollo, Latin America
    Arroz con pollo literally translates as “chicken with rice” and is one of the most iconic chicken and rice dishes in the Spanish-speaking world. It exists all over Latin America, and there’s no single way to make it. The origins of the dish are closely related to those of paella in Spain, and the same addition of saffron is used to achieve a yellow color for the rice. In places like Puerto Rico and Cuba, other spices, such as annatto, are used to create the yellow color.

    Photo by G M/Flickr
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    Chicken teriyaki, United States
    This combination of sweet teriyaki sauce and chicken breast has become a standard at mall food courts and sushi restaurants across the country. Teriyaki is derived from the Japanese root words teri, meaning to shine, and yaki, meaning to broil or grill. However, in Japan, teriyaki is typically used as a marinade for fish rather than for meat. As such, chicken teriyaki over white rice is a Japanese-American dish found more commonly in the U.S. than in Japan.

    Photo by alanagkelly/Flickr
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    Hainanese chicken rice, Singapore
    Considered one of the national dishes of Singapore, Hainanese chicken rice was brought to the country by southern Chinese immigrants. To make this simple, yet flavorful dish, cooks boil a whole chicken in aromatics, then slice and serve the meat with rice cooked in chicken fat or stock. The leftover stock from the boiled chicken is ladled into bowls and served alongside to complete the meal.

    Photo by Charles Haynes/Flickr
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    Five-spice chicken and rice, Vietnam
    Five-spice is a traditional seasoning mixture in many Asian countries, and in Vietnam, the mix usually includes Chinese cinnamon, clove, fennel seed, star anise, and Szechuan pepper. The chicken is typically marinated in five-spice powder and soy and fish sauces, and then grilled over an open flame. At some restaurants, the dish is also served with a fried egg on top.

    Photo by shreveportbossier/Flickr
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    Chicken tikka masala, India
    Many argue that chicken tikka masala is not a traditional Indian dish, but rather that its roots are muddled somewhere between England and India—in other words, it’s a British take on Indian cuisine. (Fun fact: chicken tikka is the national dish of England!) In this saucy dish, the chicken is tenderized with a marinade of yogurt, turmeric, and garam masala, and served over basmati rice.

    Photo by Sarah Stierch/Flickr
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    Claypot chicken, China
    Chinese clay pots have been around since 5,000 B.C., which makes claypot chicken one of the oldest chicken rice dishes on our list. Some versions cook the rice in the claypot alongside the chicken, while others insist that the two are cooked separately in order to maintain the integrity of the rice.

    Photo by Jonathan Lin/Flickr
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    Jerk chicken with rice and peas, Jamaica
    Authentic jerk chicken is famous for its heat, which is achieved using Scotch bonnet peppers, some of the hottest peppers in the world. With that level of spice, it makes sense that the jerk chicken would be served with rice to help keep the chili burns at bay.

    Photo by Naotake Murayama/Flickr
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    Khao man gai, Thailand
    Khao man gai is similar to Hainanese chicken rice in that it’s boiled chicken served over rice cooked in chicken fat. The biggest difference between the two, however, is that khao man gai is typically served alongside a bright orange ginger sauce. Many restaurants in Thailand also serve the dish with giblets or coagulated blood cakes.

    Plan Your Trip: Thailand

    Photo by cegoh/Pixabay
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