This Persian Chicken recipe is so flavorful and comforting! The savory, tender chicken and basmati rice are infused with fragrant Baharat spice – a delightful one-pan dinner that comes together quickly and easily!

This Persian Chicken recipe is so flavorful and comforting! The savory, tender chicken and basmati rice are infused with fragrant Baharat spice - a delightful one-pan dinner that comes together quickly and easily!

This savory spiced Persian Chicken recipe is infused with flavor and easy to make, requiring only 30 minutes of hands-on time before baking in the oven. Chicken is coated in a Persian spice blend that you can make at home (Baharat) and then it’s quickly pan-seared before being nestled into rice seasoned with saffron and optional barberries. Bake it for 30 minutes, and when it comes out, the rice is deliciously fragrant and cooked to perfection, and the chicken is tender with crispy skin. A delicious one-pan meal full of warming Persian Spices.

What is Baharat?

The word “Baharat” simply means “spices” in Arabic, and this wonderfully complex blend has a unique balance of flavors. Baharat is often used in Arabic cooking to add spice and a little heat to meat dishes, couscous, and tagines. The warm, exotic flavors of Baharat are an easy way to spice up simple dishes and give them a little intrigue.

Why You’ll Love This!

  1. Only 30 minutes hands-on. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and only requires 30 minutes of hands-on cooking before baking the dish in the oven.
  2. One-pan meal. With everything being made in a dutch oven, this recipe could not be simpler. Plus it makes clean-up a pinch!
  3. Bursting with flavor. Between the Persian spice blend, Baharat, and the saffron-seasoned rice, this dish is packed with layers of rich flavor.
  4. No more boring chicken! This recipe offers a bold and flavorful option for enjoying tender and crispy chicken that will impress your palate.
ingredients for persian chicken on parchment paper - chicken, rice, spices, onion, salt, barberries

Persian chicken Ingredients

  • Basmati rice: Adds a fragrant and nutty flavor to the dish. It pairs well with the chicken and absorbs the flavors of the spices and saffron-infused water.
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken: Provides juicy and tender meat with crispy skin and infuses the rice with flavor (from the drippings). Using a mix of chicken breasts and thighs adds variety and richness to the dish.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall taste and brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. Use 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken to season it perfectly- this is key!
  • Olive oil: Creates a flavorful base for sautéing the onions and garlic, adding a subtle richness to the dish.
  • Red onion: Adds a mild sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish when thinly sliced and sautéed. It blends well with the chicken and spices.
  • Garlic cloves: Provide a savory and aromatic flavor to the dish when roughly chopped. They complement the other spices in the Baharat blend.
  • Dried Barberries: This optional addition adds a tart brightness to the dish. Optional, but highly recommended! Feel free to use dried currents, craisins or raisins.
  • Saffron: Saffron threads infuse the rice with a beautiful golden color and impart a delicate floral taste. If unavailable, use a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric as a substitute.
  • Optional garnishes: Flat leaf parsley, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, nuts (slivered almonds, slivered pistachios) – these garnishes add freshness, and texture, and provide a pop of color and a delightful contrast to the flavors of the chicken and rice.
  • Baharat spice: The Persian spice blend called Baharat infuses the dish with warmth, depth, and complexity. It’s made with spices you already have: cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ground clove.
Persian Chicken with Saffron Rice- a simple tasty one pan meal.

How to Make Persian Chicken

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place rice in a bowl and cover with water to soak while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Mix the Baharat spices together in a bowl. Season all sides of the chicken with salt (1 teaspoon per pound) then the spice blend all over the chicken, using it all. Set the chicken aside.

In a large oven-proof skillet, braiser or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, seasoning with salt and pepper, and set these aside.

To the same pan, add more oil if needed. Place the chicken skin-side down, gently searing over medium heat, just until nicely golden, about 4 minutes. Turn over, and sear 1 minute. Set aside.

Rinse and drain the rice well—place in the same pan. Add the water, salt, saffron and barberries. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.

Cover with ½ the onions.

Nestle in the chicken, skin side up.

Nestle in the rest of the onions, between the chicken. Rice should be at a simmer.

Persian chicken in dutch oven with red onions and saffron rice

Cover and place in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking until rice is tender and thighs reach 165F, another 10-20 minutes. Broil a few minutes, for extra crispy skin.

wood spoonful of saffron rice with caramelized red onions and barberries being lifted from dutch oven with Persian chicken

Garnish with parsley or cilantro. Pomegranate seeds would be nice here too, or add a nut.

What to Serve with Persian Chicken

This can certainly be enjoyed on its own as a full main course, however, if you are looking for a vegetable side our Roasted Carrots with Tahini Sauce or Baked Zucchini Tian would be the perfect accompaniment.

Or server with a salad- this Persian Walnut Salad or Lebanese Slaw (Salatet Malfouf) both work!

Persian Chicken also tastes great when served with a scoop of Greek yogurt or tzatziki.

FAQs

What type of chicken should I use?

We love a mix of bone-in, skin-on breasts and thighs for this recipe because they infuse the rice with incredible flavor.

How long will this recipe keep?

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze Persian Chicken?

Yes! Let the dish cool completely, then store in airtight containers. Thaw in the fridge before reheating on the stove. Add a splash of water if needed.

bowl of Persian chicken on bed of saffron rice with caramelized onions and barberries, garnished with parsley

More Flavorful Chicken Recipes

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe! Enjoy – xo.

Sylvia

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This Persian Chicken recipe is so flavorful and comforting! The savory, tender chicken and basmati rice are infused with fragrant Baharat spice - a delightful one-pan dinner that comes together quickly and easily!

Persian Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main, Dinner idea, chicken recipe
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Persian

Description

This Persian Chicken recipe is so flavorful and comforting! The savory, tender chicken and basmati rice are infused with fragrant Baharat spice – a delightful one-pan dinner that comes together quickly and easily!

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cup basmati rice – or other long grain rice- see notes.
  • 6 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken- a mix of breasts and thighs are perfect
  • Salt to taste (1 teaspoon salt per pound of chicken)
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil
  • One red onion thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon barberries, optional
  • Pinch saffron, crumbled (or sub 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • Optional garnishes: Flat leaf parsley, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, nuts ( slivered almonds, slivered pistachios)

Baharat Spice 


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place rice in a bowl and cover with water to soak while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix the Baharat spices together in a bowl. Season all sides of the chicken with salt ( use 1 teaspoon per pound) then rub the spice blend all over the chicken, using it all. Set chicken aside. See note. 
  4. In a large oven-proof skillet, braiser or Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Saute the onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, seasoning with salt and pepper, and set these aside.
  5. To the same pan, add more oil if needed. Place the chicken skin-side down, gently searing over medium heat, just until nicely golden, about 4 minutes.Turn over, and sear 1-2 minutes. No need to cook through.  Set it aside.
  6. Rinse and drain the rice well—place in the same pan. Add the water, salt, saffron and barberries. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.
  7. Cover with ½ the onions.
  8. Nestle in the chicken, skin side up.
  9. Nestle in the rest of the onions, in between the chicken. Rice should come to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking until rice is tender and thighs reach 165F, another 10-20 minutes depending on chicken size. Feel free to broil for a few minutes if you like a crispier skin.
  10. Garnish with parsley or cilantro. Pomegranate seeds would be nice here too or add a nut.

Notes

Salt is key here, be intentional about adding roughly 1 teaspoon per pound of chicken, otherwise chicken may be bland. 

The baharat spice can be made ahead. You can sub Lebanese 7 Spice or even Ras el Hanout.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One piece chicken with ¾ cup rice
  • Calories: 528
  • Sugar: 1.2 g
  • Sodium: 599.1 mg
  • Fat: 21.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 40.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 111.4 mg

Keywords: Persian chicken recipe, persian chicken, baharat chicken recipe, baharat spice recipe,

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Comments

  1. We had all the ingredients in the house, so I made this last-minute, only with frozen chicken breasts. I kept it covered in the oven until the chicken was nearly 165°. It was so easy and delicious!

  2. Love this, Sylvia! The rice is slightly crispy on the bottom of the pan. I had 5 chicken thighs and worried it would be too much spice, but it’s perfect!

  3. Made this wonderful dish last night. Everyone loved it! Used your tips and the chicken was moist with flavorful crispy skin and the rice was perfect and not sticky. Will definitely make again.

  4. Hi Sylvia!
    Hope you can recommend best pan size for these one-pan dishes – cooking for our family of 4. I’m wanting to invest in a new cast iron pan, and not sure if the Staub 28cm is too small? Thanks!
    Ps- Love your recipes, we cook one almost every night!

    1. Hi Kyla, I usually try to eyeball how many pieces of chicken can fit in a pan. For a family of 4, to fit 6 pieces, yes that 28 cm should work great.

  5. Really excellent. Subtle, yummy flavors. I might add dried cherries next time as I think I had them in Persian rice once and they were yummy. thanks

    1. Hi Alfredia- that is tricky. I have tried this with brown basmati rice. Cooking time and liquid would probably both increase, and then I wonder if the chicken would be over cooked? If I were to attempt this, I would soak the brown rice for a couple hours first. That might help? Or par cook it?

  6. I cooked this recipe on the stovetop and finished it under the grill. It was absolutely delicious, delicately spiced, full of flavour and looked amazing. I will definitely make this again and again! Thank you for all your lovely recipes x

    1. Hi Karen- it’s a bit tricky. Other than seasoning the chicken ahead, and prepping ingredients, you could cook the whole thing ahead, refrigerate and reheat?

  7. I made this last night and the test was incredible. Rather than buying all the spices and blending them up you could just use Ras al Hanout….much less time consuming. Following the instructions exactly it came out to dry so I would either cut back on the temperature next time or not cook as long.

  8. this was very easy to make, love anything you can cook in one pot / pan.
    used a handful raisins in lieu of the berries and did not have and cardamon……still came out delicious.

  9. This is indeed comfort food! Chicken with skin is not typically available in the supermarkets here, but even with skinless breasts and thighs this will become part of the regular rotation in our house. I just have to be careful not to overdo it during the browning. So good!

  10. I was inspired to make your dish after eating the recipe at the WONDERFUL TEBAY MOTORWAY SERVICES restaurant in CUMBRIA .If you travel North on the M6 as you approach the area of Shap Fells there is this AWARD WINNING great motorway services with local high quality farm produce and cafe and so on

    .So I chose this meal – the chefs make dishes and sell at very good prices but the quality is so and came home inspired to make it for myself.

    THANKYOU.Delicious!

  11. Wow sounds good. This made my roasted quail with saffron risotto to shame. 🙁 I will try this one day. No wonder Alexander was impressed with Persian rice!

  12. Lovely presentation…. I have been cooking Iranian food for years. Rice is the real center of the meal. I have made tahdig many times. The Yogurt Tahdig is the type I liked the least. There are several types of tahdig you can make that are less fussy. The most common one that is tasty is just a plain rice tahdig. when you take your rice out and put it in a colander to rinse it, you melt a combination of a tablespoon of butter or 2 and a couple tablespoons of oil in the dutch oven, spoon a layer of rice over the bottom and mound the rest of the rice on top ..poke the holes.. cover with a dishtowel/paper towels and the lid.. steam on medium high for 5 minutes.. turn the heat down to under medium for 30 minutes or so I always taste the rice to determine how done it is.. flip and you have a lovely crispy buttery tahdig. for the saffron… you can mix it up the same way without the yogurt and egg and put it on top of the cooked rice, about half a cup of cooked rice and the saffron and water it looks very pretty. Many times the tahdig is taken off the rice and placed on a separate platter or on the side. . Another type of tahdig you can make, slice a raw washed potato or 2 into thin slices and put the slices in your pot on top of the melted butter and oil and mound your rice on top of the potatoes and stream the rice. Another quick one that is delicious is put an flour tortilla on the bottom when your butter and oil have melted and mound your rice on top of the tortilla and steam. Making rice middle east style is an art acquired by practice and error. I have burned my fair share of pots of rice. Stove temperatures vary.. so until you get the knack always monitor and smell your rice for burning, cooking on a lower heat causes less mistakes than cooking on too high heat. You can always increase the heat, but you can’t undo burned rice.
    Thank- you for the recipe!

    PS. I generally use Thai Jasmine Rice it is a bit softer and moister.. Basmati is a drier rice and is more expensive and popular now. You should soak both, I do it for a few hours.. it allows the rice grain to puff up and elongate more when cooked.

  13. I love the crust on both the chicken and the rice. Thx for sharing the tip on successfully getting the crust right on the rice.

  14. The rice certainly sounds challenging, but I am always up for a challenge. The chicken also sounds delicious and I will have to scout out the spices. You have definitely peaked my interest Sylvia and I thank you for that.

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