Chicken With Saffron Jeweled Rice

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

POSTED FOR CRAZE-E CONTEST, 2010. In Persian culture of both Iran and Afghanistan Nowruz (New Light, Persian New Year) is celebrated with friends and family. Food gifts such as Chicken with Saffron Jeweled Rice would be an excellent addition to the table spread of food. This is an adaption for the American kitchen of the traditional recipe, Morasa Polo.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat half the butter in a large frying pan.
  2. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, Remove to plate.
  3. Heat remaining butter in the pan and add the chicken.
  4. Cook, turning occasionally, until brown all over and half cooked or more. Remove to plate.
  5. Add the dried cranberries & chopped dates to the pan and sprinkle with the icing sugar.
  6. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  7. Return onion and browned chicken to the pan.
  8. Add drained rice, water as needed, I'd use just under 2 cups, use the amount you would usually to cook rice. Add the orange zest, coarsely grated carrot, saffron, cumin, cinnamon, cracked cardamom pods, sea salt, to taste and stir to combine.
  9. Increase heat to high to bring to the boil.
  10. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  11. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes to rest.
  12. Use a fork to fluff the rice.
  13. Add half of the toasted almonds and pistachios and stir through the rice.
  14. Transfer to a serving platter.
  15. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios, almonds, and rose water if using.
  16. Arrange lime wedges around dish.
  17. Serve immediately.
  18. Avoid actually eating the cardamom pods.
Most Helpful

Delicious! I cut up boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of using chicken legs, and did not use the rose water or lime, but otherwise made as stated. The sweetness was just right and I loved the complexity of the flavors. We will definitely enjoy this again! Thanks for posting.

noway April 24, 2011

When I saw this recipe I knew I had to make! My garden grown saffron was just picked 2-3 weeks back. I love cardamom so you see where I needed to make this. I used 8 drumsticks. Skipped the sugar for the dates and cranberries were sweet enough. I used brown basmati rice so I did have to simmer about 40 minutes. My almond were whole so I rough chopped them. Would have to seen some fresh green herbs to brighten the dish. I did use the rose water and lime. 5 stars for the tenderness and yummieness. But a presentation on how to give as a gift makes it 4 stars. I did look at the typical recipes on line after I made this recipe. Most state to soak rice for 2 hours. This is made for weddings. Almonds are also soaked for an hour. But no matter! I did love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Made for Craze-E Contest Nov 2010

Rita~ December 20, 2010