Iraqi Tabid Recipe

Tabid is a slow-cooked Shabbat casserole (chamin, or cholent) from Israel’s Iraqi community. This filling dish is made with chicken, rice and Middle Eastern spices.

The recipe comes from my father-in-law’s family, who immigrated to Israel from Baghdad in the early 1950’s. Like other kinds of Iraqi food, it’s a bit time consuming to prepare, but the results are well worth it!


Serves 6

1 whole chicken, cleaned, with skin
1 teaspoon baharat spice
1 chopped onion
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 chopped tomatoes (optional)
3 cardamom pods, cracked open
2-3 cups rice
2 tablespoons chicken soup mix
4 hard boiled eggs, with shells

Ingredients for the stuffing:
½ cup rice (rinsed)
1 boneless chicken cutlet (shnitzel), cut into small cubes
1 or 2 tomatoes cut into small cubes (peeling optional)
Seeds from 2 cardamom pods
¾ teaspoon baharat spice
1 level tablespoon chicken soup mix


  1. Mix ingredients for the stuffing, place into chicken and sew the chicken shut using thread or secure shut using toothpicks.

  2. In a large, heavy pot, cook the chopped onion in some olive oil for 1 minute on medium flame. Stir in the tomato paste, baharat spice, tomatoes if using them, cardamom pods, and chicken soup mix. Mix in 2 cups water.

  3. Place the stuffed chicken in the pot and add enough water to cover ¾ of the chicken. Cook on medium flame for half an hour. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 15 minutes.

  4. Put the rice around the chicken and cook until the water is fully absorbed (approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on the rice you choose to use). Refer to cooking tip below if you have too much liquid remaining after the rice is cooked.

  5. Preheat the oven. If you are cooking this before Shabbat, or on any afternoon and plan to eat the tabid the following day, preheat the oven to 175°F/80°C. If you are preparing this the night before, then preheat the oven to 220°F/100°C.

  6. Nestle the eggs on top of the rice. Cover the pot and place in oven to cook overnight until ready to eat. Check in the morning to make sure the eggs, rice and chicken are browned. Turn up the oven temperature slightly if you want the casserole to be more “well done”.

  7. Remove the tabid from the oven just before serving. Be sure to remove the thread or toothpicks! We enjoy tabid with an array of salads and hummus. B'teyavon!

Cooking tips:
  • If you have too much liquid in the pot and the rice is already cooked, remove the pot from the stove and then try to remove the liquid. Alternately, you can put the pot in a 300°F/150°C oven, uncovered, for 1 hour. Then cover the pot and lower the oven to 175°F/80°C for cooking overnight until ready to eat the next day.

  • If you are using a pot with plastic handles and plastic knob on the cover, simply wrap them in aluminum foil. They should be fine in the low temperature oven.

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