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Persian Chicken Stew (Khoresh Morgh)

Persian Chicken Stew

Welcome to a culinary journey into the heart of Persian cuisine! Today, I invite you to discover the wonders of Khoresh Morgh, a traditional and mouthwatering Persian chicken stew. Bursting with rich flavors and wholesome ingredients, this delightful dish brings together tender sautéed chicken and a medley of aromatic vegetables. As the chicken simmers gently, its succulent juices intertwine with the vibrant spices, resulting in a captivating symphony of taste. Khoresh Morgh holds a cherished place in Iranian gastronomy, often gracing tables alongside fragrant Persian rice delicacies such as Zereshk Polo or Baghali Polo. So, join me as we embark on a culinary adventure and learn how to prepare this sensational Persian chicken stew.

Persian Chicken Stew

Starting the Process

To begin our culinary endeavor, gather the following ingredients for four servings: four succulent chicken thighs or breasts, two medium onions, two medium potatoes, two medium carrots, two tablespoons of tomato paste, one tablespoon of brewed saffron, one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of ground black pepper, one cinnamon stick, and one teaspoon of turmeric.

Now, let’s dive into the steps of this tantalizing recipe.

  1. Peel and wash the onions before dicing them into small, flavorful pieces.
  2. Coat the bottom of a pot with a small amount of oil and heat it up.
  3. Once the oil reaches the desired temperature, add the diced onions and sauté them until they become translucent, releasing their enticing aroma.
  4. Next, introduce the golden essence of turmeric to the pot and sauté it alongside the onions until a delightful hue blankets the mixture. The vibrant color will infuse the stew with an alluring visual appeal.
  5. Moving on to the star of the dish, rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces. For optimal flavor, it is recommended to remove the chicken skin before proceeding.
  6. Add the chicken to the pot and sauté each side for approximately five minutes, or until the surface develops a tempting golden shade.
  7. Now, it’s time to incorporate the vegetables that will lend their own unique character to the stew. Peel off the carrots and cut them into slightly thick slices. Introduce these vibrant orange gems to the pot, allowing them to join the flavorful symphony of ingredients. Let them cook for around two minutes, enhancing the overall texture and taste of the stew.
  8. To intensify the flavors further, add the tomato paste to the pot. Saute it until it undergoes a magnificent transformation, turning into a deep brick red shade. This cooking process eliminates any rawness from the paste, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors. Alternatively, you can opt for fresh tomatoes by peeling and chopping them, cooking them until their juices evaporate, and using them in place of the tomato paste. As the color deepens, sprinkle in the salt and black pepper, allowing them to complement the taste profile of the stew.
  9. Now, let’s infuse the stew with the essence of warmth and spice. Pour three cups of water into the pot, elevating the heat until it reaches a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the captivating cinnamon stick. This aromatic touch will weave its magic into the chicken, imparting a subtle complexity to the stew. Let the chicken simmer gently for approximately one to one and a half hours, allowing the flavors to meld and the meat to become irresistibly tender.
  10. As we approach the final stages of our culinary symphony, it’s time to elevate the dish with a touch of luxury. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, consider adding the brewed saffron, which will envelop the stew with its distinctive aroma and enrich the overall flavor profile. However, fear not if you don’t have saffron at hand, as the combination of turmeric and tomato paste in this recipe already provides a delightful taste and hue.
  11. While the stew simmers to perfection, let’s prepare a delightful accompaniment – crispy French fries. Slice the potatoes lengthwise, ensuring even-sized pieces. Rinse the slices with cold water, removing any excess starch. This step is crucial as starch can render the fries tasteless and cause them to stick together during frying.
  12. In a deep pan, heat the frying oil until it reaches the ideal temperature. Add the sliced potatoes, watching them sizzle and transform into golden delights. To enhance their flavor and appearance, sprinkle a pinch of turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Once the fries achieve a golden brown hue, transfer them onto a rack to drain any excess oil, preserving their irresistible crispiness.

Persian Chicken Stew

The Moment of Truth

Now, the moment of truth has arrived. Some prefer their stew thick and hearty, while others delight in its juicier allure. Once the stew has reached your desired consistency, transfer the chicken to a serving dish, allowing it to bask in its flavorful glory. Garnish the stew with the crispy French fries, which will add a delightful texture and a touch of indulgence. For a complete Persian dining experience, accompany your Khoresh Morgh with fragrant Zereshk polo (barberry rice) and Torshi (pickles). These delightful side dishes perfectly complement the flavors of the stew, adding a symphony of tastes to your culinary exploration.

Frequent Questions

1.Question: What is Khoresh Morgh?
Answer: Khoresh Morgh is an authentic Persian chicken stew that combines sautéed chicken and flavorful vegetables, resulting in a delicious and satisfying meal.
2. Question: What are the key ingredients required to prepare Persian chicken stew?
Answer: The key ingredients for Khoresh Morgh include chicken thighs or breasts, onions, potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, saffron, salt, black pepper, cinnamon stick, and turmeric.
3. Question: How long does it take to cook Khoresh Morgh?
Answer: Cooking Khoresh Morgh on low heat typically takes around one to one and a half hours for the chicken to become tender and for the flavors to meld together.
4. Question: Can I substitute tomato paste with fresh tomatoes in the recipe?
Answer: Yes, you can substitute tomato paste with fresh tomatoes. Simply peel and chop the tomatoes, cook them until the juices evaporate, and use them instead of the tomato paste to achieve a similar flavor and color.
5. Question: What are some popular side dishes to serve with Khoresh Morgh?
Answer: Khoresh Morgh is often served with fragrant Persian rice dishes such as Zereshk Polo (barberry rice) or Baghali Polo (rice with dill and fava beans). Additionally, serving Torshi (pickles) alongside the stew enhances the overall dining experience.
6. Question: How can I ensure the French fries turn out crispy when preparing them as a side dish?
Answer: To achieve crispy French fries, it is important to rinse the sliced potatoes with cold water to remove excess starch. This helps prevent them from sticking together during frying. Additionally, frying the potatoes until they turn golden brown and allowing them to drain on a rack after frying helps maintain their desired crispiness.

Persian Chicken Stew


We hope this journey through the flavors of Persia has left you inspired and excited to recreate this authentic Persian chicken stew, Khoresh Morgh. Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Iranian cuisine, savoring every aromatic bite. May this recipe bring warmth, joy, and a sense of culinary adventure to your table.

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