Bukharan Chicken and Rice Plov With Vegetables

Bukharan Chicken and Rice Plov With Vegetables

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
547 Calories
14g Fat
58g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 547
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 520mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 528mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Plov is a signature dish of the Bukharan Jews of Central Asia. (They are referred to as Bukharian Jews in Israel). Often slow cooked in a wood-burning oven, it is served to guests as a symbol of hospitality for holidays and at special life events, including weddings. 

Though the recipe below does not include it, plov is traditionally spiced with cumin, and often served with roasted garlic. If you'd like to enhance the flavor of the basic recipe, season the sautéed vegetables and chicken with 1 to 3 teaspoons of cumin and a touch of cinnamon before adding the rice. If desired, a head or two of garlic can be roasted while the plov cooks, then serve on the side. 

Tips for Making Chicken and Rice Plov

  • While chicken breast is used in this recipe, chicken thigh meat is a great alternative.
  • Avoid stirring the plov once the meat and rice are layered atop the vegetables. The idea is to cook the plov in layers. When serving, serve the layers individually (rice, then chicken, then vegetables) rather than stirring to jumble all the components together.
  • Adding boiling water to the pot is crucial. It ensures the temperature of the already-simmering plov will not drop and results in perfectly cooked rice.


  • 5 tablespoons oil (enough to cover bottom of pot)

  • 3 medium onions, diced

  • 6 carrots, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 1/2 cups medium-grain rice, such as Basmati

  • 3 1/2 cups boiling water (enough to cover the rice by 1/2 inch)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Bukharan Chicken and Rice Plov With Vegetables ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and then the carrots. Stir in the sugar. Sauté until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

    Add the onions, and then the carrots to a Dutch oven

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Lay the chicken on top of the onions and carrots. Don't stir to maintain a layer of vegetables and a distinct layer of meat. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and pepper on the chicken. Cook the chicken, gently turning the pieces over in the middle, until the chicken turns white.

    Lay the chicken on top of the onions and carrots

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add the rice on top of the chicken. Don't stir because the layers of vegetables and chicken should remain undisturbed, but distribute the rice evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the boiling water. Turn the heat down to low and cover.

    Add rice on top of the chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. After about 15 minutes, use a thin spatula to scrape down the sides and poke 6 or 7 holes through the rice to the bottom of the pot with the handle of a wooden spoon. Cover and cook on very low heat for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

    cooked rice on top of the chicken

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Serve in reverse order of the layers. Put the rice, then the chicken, then the vegetables onto the plates.

    Bukharan Chicken and Rice Plov With Vegetables in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

How To Store

Refrigerate leftover plov in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave, in a nonstick skillet with a little splash of oil over medium heat, or in a 350 F oven until heated through.

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