Chicken Perloo Recipe

Slowly caramelized vegetables and stewed tomatoes build a deep foundation of flavor in this slightly smoky chicken and rice dish.
Photo by Jerelle Guy

Servings: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


for the rib rub:
½ cup|66 grams Diamond Crystal kosher salt
¼ cup|50 grams Jesus’s Tears (aka MSG)
¼ cup|25 grams freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup|25 grams paprika
¼ cup|25 grams chili powder
¼ cup|45 grams packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder


for the chicken perloo:
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
6 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
1 large green bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 (14.5-ounce|411 gram) can stewed tomatoes
2 teaspoons Rib Rub 
1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
6 cups|1420 ml chicken stock 
1 cup|200 grams short-grain rice, such as Charleston Gold or Arborio
12 ounces|340 grams smoked chicken meat, picked off the bone (roughly half of a bird)
1 bunch scallions, chopped, for garnish


  1. Make the rib rub: Mix all of the ingredients and place them in an airtight container. Cover and store in a cool dry place until ready to use. 
  2. Make the perloo: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, and garlic and cook until the vegetables become translucent and soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the stewed tomatoes, rib rub, and salt to the sautéed vegetables and cook until all the liquid is gone and the mixture begins to caramelize on the bottom of the pot, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add  the  stock  and  bring  to  a  boil.  Stir  in  the  rice  and smoked chicken and transfer to the oven. Bake uncovered until the rice is soft and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Then the dish is done. Remove from the oven and garnish with the scallions. 

Reprinted with permission from Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day is a Good Day by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie. Copyright © 2021 by Rodney Scott’s BBQ, LLC, a South Carolina limited liability company. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jerrelle Guy. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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