I have previously posted the beef version of Qormeh sabzi that I usually make, and it is very good. While I was in Iran last week, I got some tips from my sister-in-law, Nastaran, as she made it for our first night’s dinner.
One of the things she told me was that I can make it using chicken, that it does not need to be beef. That was great news since we really do not eat much beef in our house (maybe once a month, if that often). And surprisingly, the chicken version tasted just like the beef version. Some of the vegetables she uses are not found in our stores, so that adaptation I still need to make. Mine does not come out quite a green given the different vegetable, it is a little paler due to the whites of the leeks and scallions.
Another of the tips she gave me was to make extra of the vegetables and freeze them for use later and in other dishes. What a great idea! So I did that as well with this dish, I started off with cooking the vegetables, so the recipe below includes a double batch of green vegetables. This require a lot of vegetables, here is the parsley I used from my garden.
I made this for a combined Father’s Day/Birthday dinner for my husband. He was a happy man! Thank you Nastaran for your great advice!
Qormeh Sabzi – Chicken Version
Green Vegetables (makes double what is needed, freeze the extra)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 bunches leeks, chopped
4 bunches scallions, chopped (green and some of the white part)
2 – 3 bunches of parsley, chopped (from the garden)
4 Tbsp dried fenugreek
1 cup dried kidney beans
1Tbsp vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 -3 cloves garlic, chunks or minced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp turmeric
1/2 cup water
Prepared saffron (1/4 tsp saffron ground with salt, 1 Tbsp hot water added)
2 – 3 dried limes
Prepare the green vegetables
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and saute until well wilted, about 10 minutes.
Set aside. Half can be frozen for later use.
Prepare the Stew
Soak the dried kidney beans in 2 – 3 cups hot water for 1 hour, changing water every now and then.
Make the prepared saffron.
In a pot over medium heat, add the oil, chicken, onion, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, pepper and water. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The greens should get dark.
Add the prepared saffron, the beans and their water, and about 1 quart more water.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook several hours (t least 2, but more is better).
Meanwhile, poke holes in 2 – 3 dried limes, soak in water (not hot water). Add limes with about 1 hour to go.
Add salt & lemon juice to taste.
Nastaran adds 2 Tbsp flaked barley near the end (I do not have that yet, so I did not do that this time).
Serve with rice. Enjoy!!
Serves 4 – 6.
- The First 60 Hours in Iran (andreasgardencooking.com)