California Chicken with Mediterranean Pilaf and the Color Yellow

Sometimes messy foods are the most fun.

Have you ever cooked with turmeric?

It's a spice my Mom used when she introduced me to this dish, and I still love how it turns just about everything in the kitchen... yellow!

Yellow spoon, yellow spills on the counter, yellow stained plate, and a rice that is so rich in color, it might as well be gold... see what I mean?

So they say that psychologically, the color yellow makes us the happiest.
And while I'll admit my favorite color is pink, yellow is a close second.  It's the color I painted my bedroom and wake up to, reminded of sunshine every morning.  The color of sunflowers, baby chicks, daffodils, lemons, Picasso's yellow spot, several favorite songs like Yellow Submarine, Mellow Yellow, this all time favorite...

(Yeah, they were all yellow).

And tonight's dinner.

This dinner... oh man, oh man, this dinner.

If nothing else, blogging has brought me down memory lane in a big way, these last few months.  And again, another amazing dish my Mom would serve to company and on special occasions.  Despite the probable yellow stains on the white tablecloth and napkins.

I'm not sure why it's called California Chicken, and why it would be mixed with a Mediterranean Pilaf.  And I have no idea where she got this recipe 30 some years ago, but just like how Donny's Rock and Roll and Marie's Country came together, so did this kicked up and seriously full of flavor chicken and rice dish. 

A perfect harmony. 

The sweet pineapple juice, the salty soy sauce, a depth of flavor from the curry powder, and please don't leave out the raisins.  They are not only cute, but add a sweet pop with each and every bite.

So, today, I'm excited to share this family treasure.  And seriously kicking myself as I write this while eating my second helping, wondering why I haven't cooked this like every week since the '80s.

Flavorful.  So simple.  Beautiful... and Yellow.

What more could you want?

California Chicken with Mediterranean Pilaf

For the Chicken:
1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 c. flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c. butter
1 c. pineapple juice
1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar.

Dredge chicken breasts in a mixture of flour, 3 salts and nutmeg.  Brown in a large skillet in the butter.  Then transfer to an 8x8 baking dish.  Pour over the pineapple juice, soy sauce and sugar that has been mixed together.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes until cooked through.

For the Pilaf:
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1-1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

Boil chicken broth in a large saucepan.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients.  Stir, cover, and lower heat to the lowest setting.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.  Then remove from heat and let set for about 10 minutes. 

Serve chicken over the rice and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if you'd like.


  1. What a delicious sounding dinner!!! This is perfect for #WeekdaySupper and I will have to serve it soon at our dinner table. I love the color yellow - it certainly makes one very happy. Thank you for sharing this great recipe! ~ Bea @ The Not So Cheesy Kitchen

    1. Thanks Bea! It came together quickly and was just as good as I remembered it! Hope you enjoy it ;-)

  2. I love the yellow rice - it looks like a delicious meal!


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