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Author Notes: Crack out your muffin tin for a miniature version of tahchin, a traitional Persian rice cake perfumed with saffron and stuffed with chicken. —Jake Cohen
Serves 8 to 10
- 1¾ cups long-grain basmati rice, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and divided, plus more for greasing
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound (3 medium) chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup whole Greek yogurt, divided
- 2 tablespoons dried barberries, plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- ¼ teaspoons saffron threads, ground
- 1 egg
- In a medium bowl, cover the rice with cold water and stir in 1 tablespoon of the salt. Let soak for 1 hour, then drain.
- Meanwhile, in a medium Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken and continue to stir until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- To the chicken, add 2 teaspoons of the salt, 1/2 cup of the yogurt, the barberries and turmeric. Stir to combine, then set aside.
- In another medium bowl, combine the boiling water and the saffron. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in 1 teaspoon of the salt, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, the remaining 1/2 cup of the yogurt and the egg.
- Preheat the oven to 375° and grease a non-stick muffin tin with butter. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season with the remaining 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the soaked rice to the pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, 5 minutes, then drain.
- To the bowl with the saffron mixture, stir in 3 cups of the cooked rice. Divide the saffron rice between the 12 wells of the muffin tin (2 heaping tablespoons per well) and using a spoon spread up the sides.
- Divide the chicken mixture between each well of rice. Top each with the remaining plain rice (you may have a little leftover). Cover the tray with foil and bake, rotating halfway through, until golden, 2 hours.
- Let cool slightly, then run a mini offset spatula around the edge of each. Place a tray over the pan, then invert to release the tahchin. Garnish with more barberries and serve.