Iranian Chicken With Turmeric, Saffron, and Lemon Juice

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 40 mins

I love the recipes found on My Persian Kitchen, as they are authentic and delicious Iranian dishes. I chose this one, "Mitra's Sunshine Chicken" not only because it had my name in it, but because I remember my step mother having made this dish and I absolutely love it! The flavors are elegant and delicious. From My Persian Kitchen.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rough chop the onion and place in a large pot.
  2. Add chicken on top.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add turmeric.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water.
  6. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. 10 minutes into the cooking, give the whole pot a stir to allow the turmeric to coat the chicken and onions.
  7. If you choose to use fresh lemon juice, squeeze your lemons now.
  8. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and keep warm.
  9. Add saffron mixed with water and lemon juice to the water remaining in your pot. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  10. With a hand or regular blender, process the juice and onion until nice and smooth. Let reduce for a few minutes on low hear until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  11. Arrange your chicken in a platter and pour the sauce over the chicken.
  12. Serve with Iranian polo (rice).
Most Helpful

I made this as written, except threw chicken under broiler to "crisp up the skin" during the keep warm phase. We loved it, even my young kids, will make again!

snyderme April 02, 2014

This is an amazing dish, yum. The whole family liked it. But I only used 2 TBS of lemon juice, Several pieces of fresh turmeric and extra onion and yogurt. I did use 1 TBS of saffron but I made 30 pieces of chicken thighs. YUM!!! And easy

redpoodlesrus_11504208 November 27, 2013

This recipe calls for far too much saffron. I wonder if the author meant to write 1 tsp instead of 1 tbsp. The typical amount (even in Persian dishes) used for an entire chicken is a pinch (around 1 tsp). Since it's the most expensive spice in the world I thought I would caution anyone making this recipe that they could reduce the amount of saffron with equally good results.

Odeliah August 07, 2013