Persian Roasted Chicken With Dried Cherry-Saffron Rice


Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, onion, lemon juice, cumin and half of the saffron. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and turn to coat. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Drain the chicken, scraping off the onion and saffron and transfer it to a large metal roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander and shake out any excess water. In a small bowl, dissolve the remaining saffron in 1 tablespoon of water. Return the rice to the saucepan and stir in the saffron water.

In a small skillet, melt the butter with the dried sour cherries and sugar. Spoon one third of the rice into a buttered 2-quart soufflé dish. Top with half of the sour cherries and slivered almonds. Cover with half of the remaining rice and the remaining sour cherries and almonds. Top with a final layer of rice and pour any remaining butter on top. Cover the soufflé dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes (while the chicken is baking), or until the rice is tender, light and fluffy.

Preheat the broiler when the rice is done. Broil the chicken, skin side down, for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken and broil until the skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Pour the pan juices into a warm gravy boat. Serve the chicken with the rice, passing the pan juices at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Highlight the piquant richness of almonds and cherries with a fruity, light French rosé.


Persian Roasted Chicken With Dried Cherry-Saffron Rice

30 Servings



  • Serves 30
  • Energy 10072.52 kcal
  • Fat 729.99 g
  • Saturated 263.47 g
  • Trans 10.67 g
  • Monounsaturated 291.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated 112.09 g
  • Carbs 369.48 g
  • Carbohydrates (net) 354.2 g
  • Fiber 15.28 g
  • Sugars 42.54 g
  • Sugars, added 24.95 g
  • Protein 488.05 g
  • Cholesterol 3214.83 mg
  • Sodium 8685.25 mg
  • Calcium 550.79 mg
  • Magnesium 712.79 mg
  • Potassium 6841.02 mg
  • Iron 39.04 mg
  • Zinc 40.81 mg
  • Phosphorus 4974.06 mg
  • Vitamin A 2445.46 µg
  • Vitamin C 32.84 mg
  • Thiamin (B1) 4.31 mg
  • Riboflavin (B2) 4.64 mg
  • Niacin (B3) 143.32 mg
  • Vitamin B6 10.35 mg
  • Folate equivalent (total) 1574.43 µg
  • Folate (food) 172.13 µg
  • Folic acid 825.1 µg
  • Vitamin B12 17.31 µg
  • Vitamin D 6.54 µg
  • Vitamin E 27.04 mg
  • Vitamin K 129.14 µg
  • Water 2137.76 g



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