Persian Chicken Stuffed With Rice

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins

The rice stuffing is very simple to make and turns out beautifully! If barberries are not available, chopped fresh cranberries or sour cherries are a good substitution. Preparation time does not include marinating time. Adapted from Persian Cooking for a Healthy Kitchen" by Najmieh Batmanglij.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Clean and wash hens. Remove fatty portions and fat from cavity. Marinate 6 hours-overnight with a cup or so of apple juice and salt, cinnamon, cumin, onion and a little paprika (all to taste).
  2. Brown the onions and garlic in 1 tbs oil. Add the uncooked rice, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, rosewater, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the barberries, almonds, raisins, and lime juice to the rice. Mix gently, and cook for several more minutes. Remove from heat. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff the hens with the rice mixture, and tie the cavities shut. Rub each with 1 tsp salt, additional cinnamon, cumin, paprika and 1 tsp sugar.
  5. Place hens in a greased baking dish. Mix saffron (dissolved in hot water- optional) and about 1/4 cup apple juice, and pour over the chicken. Cover pan with foil.
  6. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes, or until fully cooked and no longer pink. Baste occasionally.
  7. Garnish with lime slices and enjoy!
Most Helpful

Mmmm, this chicken was so tasty and full of flavor, and the rice was divine. I just wish there were more of it. I also added some sliced carrots to the roasting pan, and they came out with a delicious glaze from the chicken fat and apple juice. It all made for a really great meal- thanks for sharing.

rpgaymer January 08, 2013

I didn't have any apple juice, so I couldn't make the chicken. But I made the rice to go along with a roast chicken recipe I was making. The rice was absolutely delicious and I will make again many times. I have had a lot of similar persian rice dishes but what I liked about this one was the use of the sultanas along with the barbarries (I liked having both sour and sweet elements). I cooked the rice on high heat for 10 minutes after adding the stock and a bit of additional water, I kept stirring it occasionally and adding a little more water whenever the water would evaporate, until the rice had softened (and water nearly completely evaporated). Then I added the berries, raisins and almonds, put a lid on and let it simmer in low heat for 20 minutes. Then I stirred it a little to push the top layer under the lower layers (to make sure it would cook) and I put a tea towel under the lid and turned the heat off and let the rice sit for 30 minutes (this takes away all the excess moisture). Thank you for this recipe. I hope to try the chicken also in the future.

zainab23 July 21, 2012

A nice dish. It wasn't constant comment but I was not able to use chicken stock in the recipe and that would have added needed flavouring. Do not leave it out. I used baby chickens, sea salt, to taste, butter instead of olive oil for more flavour, Persian rice which I did not soak, just rinsed in quadrupole the amount for stuffing as I cooked some around the chickens based on others reviews so all ingredients in rice were quadrupled unless otherwise noted. I also sprinkled a little white sugar on the rice. The sugar is not in the ingredients list by the way, just the instructions. I used freshly ground cardamom, Iranian rose water (which I feel is superior in taste, aroma, quality), water in place of the chicken stock with needed sea salt added, somewhat less dried barberries (which require picking over first before soaking and rinsing), golden raisins which I rinsed with the barberries to rid of some of the vegetable oil! I added strands of Iranian saffron directly to the apple juice. (Iranian saffron is the best quality in aroma, taste and colour), plus the rest of the ingredients. If I were to make this again I would pound and soak the Iranian saffron in hot water and try taking the skin off the chickens before marinating, as we don't eat it. I served it with Mast-O Khiar (Persian Yogurt and Cucumber Dip). Made for APRIL 2011 NA/ME TAG!

UmmBinat April 02, 2011