Lebanese Chicken and Hashweh (beef and rice)

In the event that you ever need to determine whether or not a person is of Lebanese descent, say if you’re a diplomat, international spy or want to learn a new party trick, there is a litmus test that almost never lies. A Lebanese nose is usually distinctly-shaped; but if that fails, look them in the eye and ask the individual in question about the Seven Spices. No, this isn’t middle eastern code. It refers to a combination of spices that are found, or should be found, in every Lebanese kitchen. It is made up of equal parts black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, fenugreek and powdered ginger. One can find these pre-mixed at middle eastern grocers or, if you’re in a hurry and short on ingredients, try the Three Spice version: allspice, pepper and cinnamon, which tastes nearly as good. These spices are an integral part of the recipe below, which has been in my grandmother’s repertoire for 92 years (except for the Uncle Ben rice part, of course).

For chicken:

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

Olive oil, for rubbing

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp salt

Juice from 1/2 lemon

2 heaping tsp seven spices

1/4 tsp paprika


For Hashweh:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 lb lean ground beef

1 tsp salt

1 heaping tsp seven spices

1 cup long grained white rice (My mom and I use Uncle Ben’s)

1/4 cup chicken broth

Boiling water

1/4 pomegranate seeds (for garnish)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (for garnish)

Pine nuts or slivered almonds (for garnish)




1.Cut chicken into pieces. Wash and pat dry with paper towel. Rub generously with oil using hands.

2. In a small bowl, crush the peeled garlic with salt  (for ease of crushing), then add fresh lemon juice. Add remaining spices to this mixture. 3. Rub each piece of chicken all over with the mixture and in one layer, place on greased baking dish.  Cover with foil.

4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, covered.

5. Remove foil, and bake another 20 minutes (approx.).


1. Melt butter in large pot and add almonds. Stir constantly for 2 minutes then add pine nuts (snuba). Stir regularly until the pine nuts brown or turn golden (be careful, as once the pine nuts start turning brown, they will burn quickly afterwards). Remove from heat immediately.

2. Add lean ground beef to nut mixture and return back to burner on medium high. Break up the meat finely with wooden spoon.
3. Add salt and spices, while browning meat, and mix thoroughly.
4. Once meat is browned, add long grained rice and stir together.
5. At this stage, the chicken will have been cooking for about 30 minutes and will have just come out of the oven to remove the foil. Collect the chicken pan juices (as much as you can get from the pan – amounts may vary) and add the juices to the rice mixture before returning the chicken back to oven, uncovered).
6. After adding pan juices to rice, add 1/4 cup chicken broth and then enough boiling water to just cover the rice mixture. Stir. Cover pot and bring to boiling, then simmer roughly 10 minutes or until rice is cooked. Serve with chicken and garnish with pomegranate seeds, sprinkled pine nuts and ground cinnamon.

About gentlemangourmet

My name is Mike and even though I’m not always a gentleman, it’s safe to say I am in love with food. Like my more famous namesake, the kid on the cereal commercial from the early 80′s, I had an ability to eat just about anything and “like it.” I’ve become a tad more discerning since my toddler phase: I prefer Pinot Noir to the customary Shiraz my parents liked, I no longer eat parmesan cheese sprinkled from a container, and can pick out which ingredients I like or don’t in a recipe by smell alone. I blame my Lebanese heritage, my large Lebanese nose (all the better for smelling with) and exposure over the past few years to some exquisite ethnic cooking styles and cuisine, as well as to some stunning, inspiring cooks who are family or friends. I’ve included a lot of their favourite recipes on this site, as well as a few of my own that have become my staples over the years. I hope you find something here that you like. Happy cooking! View all posts by gentlemangourmet

4 responses to “Lebanese Chicken and Hashweh (beef and rice)

  • Tom | Tall Clover Farm

    Greetings for Washington State Mike, I discovered your site while searching for a hashweh recipe. I’m trying to learn how to make many of my favorite dishes from my grandmother’s kitchen (and it’s much too early to call Mom). Kind regards, Tom

    Can’t wait to try more of your

    • gentlemangourmet

      Thanks for visiting, Tom. I’ve started asking my mom for my grandmother’s recipes out of necessity as I don’t live near any Lebanese restaurants. Good luck in your search and please let me know if you come across any good Lebanese recipes. Food is such an important way for me to stay connected with my heritage and family. Mike

  • Maureen

    Thanks for sharing. Our family recipe is a slightly different version but am looking forward to trying yours.

  • Rachael

    I made this a week or two ago and it was fantastic! Making again today for my mom, sister, and brother-in-law who have never had hashweh. Thanks for helping enrich their lives! 🙂

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