Ultimate Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with Irresistible White Sauce

Authentic Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice With Creamy White Sauce Recipe

Transport your taste buds to the bustling streets of Manhattan with this mouthwatering homemade version of the iconic halal cart-style chicken and rice. Bursting with bold flavors and aromatic spices, this dish captures the essence of New York’s beloved street food classic. Tender, juicy chicken thighs marinated in a zesty blend of herbs and spices are perfectly complemented by fragrant yellow rice and a creamy, tangy white sauce that’ll have you coming back for more.

This recipe, adapted from the culinary experts, brings the authentic flavors of halal cart cuisine right to your kitchen. Whether you’re a New York native missing a taste of home or a curious food enthusiast looking to explore new flavors, this dish is sure to become a fast favorite in your recipe repertoire.

Ultimate Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice with Irresistible White Sauce


For the chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (6 to 8 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

For the rice:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • Fluffy pocketless pita bread, brushed in butter, lightly toasted, and cut into 1 × 3-inch strips
  • Harissa-style hot sauce, for serving


  1. For the chicken: Whip up a flavorful marinade by blending lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, and olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken in a zipper-lock bag, add half the marinade, and refrigerate for 1-4 hours, turning occasionally for even coating.
  2. Pat the marinated chicken dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 6 minutes more. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before chopping.
  3. Roughly chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, toss with the remaining marinade, and refrigerate while preparing the rice and sauce.
  4. For the rice: Melt butter in a Dutch oven and sauté turmeric and cumin until fragrant. Add rice, stirring to coat and lightly toast for 4 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.
  5. For the sauce: In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and black pepper. Season with salt to taste, creating a creamy and tangy white sauce that perfectly complements the dish.
  6. To serve: Reheat the chicken with its marinade and juices in the skillet. Divide rice, lettuce, tomato, and pita bread among plates. Top with the sizzling chicken, drizzle with white sauce and hot sauce. Serve immediately, offering extra sauce on the side for those who crave an extra kick of flavor.


For optimal texture, avoid marinating the chicken for more than 4 hours. If you need to delay cooking, remove the chicken from the marinade, pat it dry, and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
969 Calories
54g Fat
68g Carbs
55g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 969
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 239mg 80%
Sodium 1729mg 75%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 55g
Vitamin C 19mg 97%
Calcium 159mg 12%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 1081mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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