Chicken & Rice – Halal Guy’s Copycat

After our first visit to the Halal Guy’s chicken & rice cart in NYC we were hooked. It’s probably been a decade since our first visit but we remember it well. A warm summer night (more likely early morning TBH) waiting in line not knowing what to expect, and getting wafts of the aromatic rice and spiced chicken. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT! The flavors of the chicken and rice mixed with the white and spicy sauces works so well together and that’s exactly what we tried to recreate. So while we no longer are eating late night food from a stand, we realized that chicken and rice makes for a perfect dinner or weekday lunch prep.

If you’re not a fan of chicken thighs trust us and give them a try. The marinade and cook method result in perfectly juicy and seasoned chicken that just won’t work the same with chicken breasts. We chose to cook the chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet but they can be grilled as well. If you’re new to cooking meats or feel like you can’t get it right – do yourself a favor and invest in a meat thermometer. This is the one I have and totally recommend for an affordable option from Amazon.

There are quite a few components to this recipe and the marinade and sauces can be made ahead of time to simplify prep!

Serving size: Makes 6 servings

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste

Rice Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 2.5 cups of broth (veggie or chicken)

Red Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 serrano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic paste
  • salt to taste

White Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • fresh cracked black pepper (very important)
  • salt to taste

Other Accompaniments:

  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes


  1. Trim chicken thighs and set aside in a medium sized bowl
  2. Add all of the marinade ingredients into a blender and combine until smooth. Pour over chicken thighs and stir well to combine. Let the chicken marinate for 2 hours in the fridge – do not marinade any longer, the lemon juice will start to break down the chicken and make it mushy
  3. While the chicken is marinating work on the sauces! To make the white sauce, whisk ingredients together until smooth and creamy. This sauce tastes better the longer it sits
  4. To make the red sauce, rough chop ingredients and toss everything into a blender. Note: this sauce is meant to be very spicy and the white sauce will help cool things down
  5. Once the chicken is marinated, pat dry with paper towels. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, once hot add in chicken. Let cook for 4-5 minutes and then flip and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until your food thermometer reads 165F
  6. Remove chicken from heat and place on your cutting board to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into small pieces
  7. Rinse the rice and set aside. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add in spices and roast for 2-3 minutes
  8. Add in rice and toast in butter and spices for 4-5 minutes, then add in broth and let it come to a boil
  9. Once the broth is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid and let simmer for 13 minutes
  10. Phew, ready to plate! Serve rice and chicken alongside shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes, drizzled with white and red sauce for the authentic Halal Brothers experience
Chicken marinade ingredients
Put everything into a blender and combine until smooth
Brown the chicken thighs in a hot cast iron skillet
Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, this help keeps it moist and juicy!
Love using the dutch oven to cook rice
Melt butter and sauté spices until fragrant
Once spices are fragrant and rice is toasty, add in the broth
Ingredients for red sauce
Ingredients for white sauce, simple & delicious

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.