Coming on the heels of my very successful Barberry Rice with Lemon Chicken (Zereshk Polo ba Morgh), I was a both very confident and a little nervous attempting to create a different Persian chicken and rice dish.
I have made a similar rice dish, Baghali polo – with lima beans, so I thought I the rice with peas (Shevid Polo) would feel familiar. And it did. The biggest problem I had was keeping myself from eating all of the pea mixture before adding it to the rice. And that is saying a lot since I do not generally like dill, and there is plenty of fresh dill in it.
Then there was the chicken. The lemon chicken was so good, I was nervous that a non citrus, non-tomato-based chicken wouldn’t compare. But, it would have turmeric, saffron, onions and garlic – those are always good. I also used chicken thighs so the meat itself would have more flavor.
The result…2 thumbs up from my son. He said he not only liked it, he loved it! And he is not usually generous with his ratings.
Persian Chicken and Rice with Peas & Dill (Morgh ba Polo Shevid)
Rice with Peas & Dill (Polo Shevid)
2 Tbsp canola or other neutral oil, divided
1 onion, diced
1 large shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag frozen peas (1 lb)
1 bunch dill, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups basmati rice
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 – 3 lbs chicken thighs, with bones
1 cup chicken stock
1 – 2 cups water
1/8 tsp saffron threads, ground and dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water
Rice (Conventional Approach)
Wash the rice, rinse and drain about three times until the water runs clear.
Place the rice in a filled with salted water. Bring to a boil. Just as it comes to a boil, check the rice it should be al dente, remove from heat and drain the rice in a colander. Rinse under cold water.
Put the oil and water in the pot. Return the rice to the pot and sprinkle with another teaspoon or so of water. Cover with a padded lid or a clean dishtowel and then the pot lid. Heat over medium high heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cook for 35 – 40 minutes.
Peas & Dill
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, shallots and garlic.
Cook until onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and dill, cook until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Meanwhile, In a large dutch oven, brown the onion and garlic in the oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down and brown, about 7 – 10 minutes. Flip and brown for another 3 minutes.
Add the turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir to coat the chicken.
Add the chicken stock and 1 cup water, cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add the prepared saffron and reduce heat to medium-low.
Cook for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If the liquid in the pot starts to evaporate, add up to 1 more cup of water.
Reserve 1 cup of the pea mixture. Place rice in a large serving dish, mix in the remainder of the pea mixture.
Place the chicken on top of the rice.
Break up the Tah Dig – the crisp layer of rice at the bottom of the pot – and place around the outside of the dish.
Top with the reserved pea mixture.
Top the chicken with extra sauce when it is served on a plate. Enjoy!
Serves 4 – 6