Iranian Chicken With Rice (Morgh Polou)

Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr

This is a typical Iranian recipe using fruit with a meat or chicken. The saffron gives it a golden color and the scent while it is cooking is wonderful. It is not "spicy hot" but it is "spicy flavorful". There is a special way to cook Iranian rice but I have simplified this recipe using plain cooked rice - I prefer Basmati Rice I made this recipe using skinless boneless breasts - they turned out too dry I recommend that you use the whole chicken, skin on for this recipe

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper.
  2. Using half the Ghee/butter brown the chicken, set aside.
  3. Fry the onion until transparent in the remaining butter/ghee, add apricots & raisins cook 5 miniutes.
  4. Stir in the cinnamon then add the 1/4 cup water to lift the browned sediment.
  5. Place half the cooked rice in an oven proof dish placing the chicken on top.
  6. Spread the apricot mixture over the chicken and top with remaining rice.
  7. Cover the dish tightly and bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked & tender.
  8. While the chicken is cooking mix the saffron with 2 tbsp boiling water, leave to steep.
  9. Just before serving sprinkle saffron liquid over the top of the casserole , stir gently mixing the chicken, rice & saffron.
  10. Serve heaped on a platter.
Most Helpful

This was very easy to make and tasted really good. I think next time I will brown the chicken a little longer. The rice is just delicous. and I think i'll double the amount of fruit used next time. I made enough to last for two nights, but DH polished off the whole thing.... he really enjoyed it. My kids really liked it too. The chicken was very tender and the flavours were subtel but enjoyable. Thanks for sharing. Will certainly be making this again.

Maya's Mama August 19, 2010

This tastes a good five stars for DH, DD (toddler) and I. It also got rounds of approval from MIL, SIL & CW, and that time I overcooked the rice. We love the fruitiness and the whole thing is very flavorful not spicy at all. I skin the chicken pieces per preference here. Make sure to use Iranian saffron or it will lack colour as I did once and DH thought it looked bland but still had tons of taste. If you want you can add colour powder to the saffron too and use some rose water. I I have made this with butter which is excellent and dairy free when we are trying to do that using canola oil and olive oil which was almost as good. I have used both non-sulfured dried apricots which are dark in colour and the bright orange ones and I even liked it with them. I cook the rice in the way I think is Persian which is to par-boil it in extra water for 6-8 minutes by first getting the water to a roaring boil and then adding sea salt and the rice. This is flavourful rice because it gets permeated by the chicken juice. I have served this with Balkan yogurt and Turkish Chopped Salad with a lot less garlic for a nice meal. I will definitely make this again.

UmmBinat November 01, 2011

Yummy! Flavorfull dish that's easy to make. I used skinless chicken on bone and sprinkled it with tumeric (in addition to salt & pepper) while frying in pan. I used partially cooked rice (boiled in water for 5 minutes and drained) and assumed it would cook in the oven. However, some of the rice on the edge of the dish dried out in the oven. I'm curious if anyone else had a problem with dried out rice. Maybe next time, I'll cook the rice separately while the chicken cooks in the oven and mix them before serving.

Markeyan April 30, 2009