Zereshk Polo Morgh Recipe (Iranian Barberry Rice with Chicken)

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Chicken

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • tomato paste (1 16oz can)
  • 1 1/2 cup water + more to cover chicken
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1.5 lb (about 5 pieces) chicken thighs bone-in and skin-off 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water (as much as needed to cover chicken)
  • Optional: ½  tsp ground up saffron threads

Instructions: 

  • In a large pot, add vegetable oil and heat on medium, uncovered
  • Promptly add onion and garlic and heat until the aroma releases
  • Add cinnamon, turmeric, ½ tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper and entire can of tomato paste to the pot
  • *OPTIONAL: Add ground saffron
  • Add 1.5 cups of water and stir ingredients. Let it cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper and chicken to the pot. Add salt and pepper to chicken, to your taste. Fill the pot with water until it covers the chicken. 
  • Bring the pot to a boil, and once the pot reaches boiling cover and decrease to medium heat.
  • Cook up to 2 hours (until chicken is cooked). 

Persian Style Rice

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups of basmati rice (Substitute white rice if needed) 
  • 4 liters water
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2 cup rice water 
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter (to soften rice)
  • Optional pinch of saffron

Instructions: 

  • Add water and rice to a large pot and bring rice to a boil
  • Once your rice has been boiling for about 5-7 minutes, check a few grains to make sure they are somewhat soft and able to break apart. If your grains are soft, gather 1/2 Cup of water from the pot (rice water) and set aside
  • Drain the remaining water from rice, and set the rice aside
  • Add vegetable oil or butter (melted) to your rice pot
  • Add rice back to the pot, and stir
  • Add the 1/2 cup of rice water to the pot. Make a few small holes in the rice using a spoon, and cover the pot
  • Cook rice for 5-7 minutes, and check that it is steaming
  • Once rice begins to steam decrease to low heat. 
  • Remove the lid and lay a folded kitchen towel over the top of the pot, like the picture below shows. Place lid on top of the towel. This will trap the steam, and make your rice very soft!
  • Steam rice for additional 30 minutes.

Barberry And Saffron Topping for Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried barberries (or dried cranberries, preferably unsweetened)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Optional pinch of ground saffron

Instructions:

  • Add dried barberries (or cranberries) to a bowl and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan combine butter, barberries, sugar, and saffron (if using). 
  • Saute on low/low-medium heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute maximum. Do not let berries burst, or they will stick to your teeth!
  • Set this mixture aside to add to your rice once your rice is completed!