Persian Chicken (Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh), Authentic Traditional Persian Recipe

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Hello, my foodie friends! As a chef, I love exploring new flavors and cooking techniques from all around the world. One dish that has always been a favorite of mine is Persian Chicken (Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh), a flavorful and aromatic dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

This traditional Persian dish is made with succulent chicken thighs, sautéed with onions and a blend of spices, and served over a bed of fluffy, fragrant saffron rice. But what makes this dish truly unique is the addition of Zereshk, which are dried barberries that add a tangy and tart flavor to the dish, and a touch of sweetness from caramelized onions.

One of the things I love about this dish is its versatility. It can be served for a cozy family dinner, a fancy dinner party, or even a weeknight meal. It’s also a great way to impress your guests with a flavorful and exotic dish that is easy to make.

In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my recipe for Persian Chicken (Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh), along with some tips and tricks to make it perfect every time. So, get ready to take your taste buds on a culinary journey to Persia, and let’s get cooking!

Persian Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 1 Hour Cook Time: 4 Hours Total Time: 5 Hours

Here are the ingredients you will need for Persian Chicken (Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh):

Ingredients of Making Persian Chicken (Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh)

For the Chicken

  • A few tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 6 pieces of bone in chicken (I use drumsticks or thighs)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (water will work too if you are using bone-in chicken)
  • 1/2 of the saffron water
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Saffron Water

  • 1/4 teaspoon of saffron, ground with a pestle and mortar
  • 1 ice cube
  • Rice Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (dry)
  • Half of the reserved saffron water
  • 1/3 cup dried barberries
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Shirazi Salad Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion

The juice of one lemon

  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for Making Persian Chicken (Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh)

To Make the Saffron Water

  1. Sprinkle the saffron in a small dish over the ice cube and allow the ice cube to melt. Set aside.

To Make the Chicken

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large pot.
  2. Combine the spices and sprinkle a little on the chicken. Saute the chicken and onion in the oil until browned.
  3. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining spices, tomato paste, half of the saffron water (reserve half for the rice!), and chicken stock or water.
  4. Simmer until chicken becomes very tender and the sauce thickens and reduces. I like to simmer it on low heat for about 4 hours uncovered, but you can cook it faster at a higher heat!

To Make the Rice

  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. In a small pan, heat the butter over medium and add the barberries and sugar. Cook and stir for about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour the rice into a serving bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the cooked rice with the barberries and reserved saffron water. Spread the saffron rice over the top of the rest of the rice.

To Make the Shirazi Salad

  1. Dice the vegetables and toss them with the mint and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and chill until ready to serve.

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About the Author: Vicky Lau

Chef Owner at Tate Dining Room, Butler Luxury Caterer, Poem Patisseri

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