Persian Saffron Braised Chicken

July 22, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Anais Babajanian
  • Prep time 15 hours
  • Cook time 35 hours
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is, hands down, the most-requested dish when I have company over. My non-Armenian/Iranian friends especially love it - it’s familiar enough, as it’s still a chicken dinner, but they’re always surprised by the flavorful combination of curry and saffron. It’s a great “gateway” dish to serve to those who want an introduction to Persian/Iranian cuisine. —Anais Babajanian

What You'll Need
  • 1.5 pounds Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon Curry powder (or substitute turmeric)
  • 1.5-2 cups Chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  1. Place saffron threads into a small cup or bowl and crush them up a bit with a spoon. Fill with 3-4 tablespoons of hot water, and stir. Let bloom for about 10 minutes - the water should turn bright yellow/orange. Set aside.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with about 1 teaspoon salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet.
  4. Add chicken thighs and sear on both sides until golden (about 3-4 minutes each side). Remove and place on a plate to the side.
  5. In the same pan, add in the onions and cook on medium for 3-4 minutes, until softened and starting to color.
  6. Add in garlic and curry powder and stir for about a minute, until fragrant.
  7. Add in chicken stock/water and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce to a simmer and add in saffron mixture. Season with 1 tsp salt and freshly cracked pepper. Stir.
  9. Add chicken thighs back to the pan, cover, and let cook on low for 20 minutes, flipping thighs halfway through, and seasoning to taste.
  10. Remove from pan, spoon sauce over chicken, and serve with rice, greens, or salad!

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