Guyanese Chicken Pilau

Jennifer Orrange Recipes Feb 22, 2010 No comments

Pilau recipes vary from country to country and region to region and generally refer to any dish in which rice is cooked within a seasoned broth or stew. Depending on where the dish originates, different fruits, vegetables and meats, poultry or fish may be added.

This particular recipe for Chicken Pilau has its roots in the South American country of Guyana where many different ethnicities have converged to make the country their home. The cuisine of Guyana is varied and diverse, mainly influenced by Caribbean, Indian and African as well as European cooking styles.

After living and working in Guyana for some time, the following recipe for Guyanese Chicken Pilau is one that my sister often makes when serving a few people for dinner as it doesn’t take much preparation time and it is not necessary to be in the kitchen watching the cooking process! Instead, allow this dish to cook itself and enjoy your company!


  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/4 t thyme
  • 1/4 t allspice
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 c rice that has been washed and drained
  • 1 t of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 t allspice
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 cup of washed rice
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1 pound of tomatoes, chopped and mashed
  • 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces, with the backbone discarded (or use thigh and drum stick leg pieces 4 of each)
  • 1/4 t hot chili flakes


Place the oil into a large pot over medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, it is hot enough to add the chopped onion. Reduce the heat and allow the onion to cook until it becomes translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the mashed up tomatoes, the sugar, thyme, allspice, salt and pepper and mix. Taste the sauce to determine if you need to adjust the seasoning.

Simmer the mixture until liquid is reduced by about half. The sauce should be thick.

Add chicken and stir to coat. Cook chicken over a low simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add chicken broth and rice, stir and cover the pot.

Allow the Guyanese Chicken Pilau to simmer over low heat until the rice is fluffy and the chicken cooked through, about 25 minutes.


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