Zereshk Polo Ba Morgh (Barberry Rice With Chicken)

Ingredients (for 4-5 people):

1 medium onion
2-3 chicken breasts (or other chicken parts) – cut up into pieces
Saffron (try saffron usa)

sugar (3-4 spoons usually is enough)
3 cups rice – soak in salt water after washing the rice

1 cup zereshk (barberries)



Direction:First you have to prepare Saffron.Add 2 table sppon water to to a glass container, cup and let it boiled in microwae for 50 sec or what ever time you needed to bring it up to boil.Then add 1/2 tea sppon Grated Saffron to the water and let it sit for a while. The more saffron sit , the more color it gets. Some people get the color out by placing it in cold water and let it sit in refrigrator.The better the quality of Saffron, the more color and aroma you capture.

In a pan, saute onions until tender then add cut up chicken pieces. Stir the pieces around a bit and then add salt, pepper, and turmeric powder. Add 1 cup water and cover the pan for the chicken to cook. Set the temperature on medium- low and let it cook for 30 minutes – 45 minutes. Once cooked you can keep 1/2 cup of the chicken stock (after straining it) if you wish to pour it over the rice.

In a large pot bring water to a boil, and then add rice (after draining the water the rice is soaking in).  Once the rice boils drain it and add about half a cup to one cup water to the pot, oil,  Set the pot back on the stove and leave it on high temperature. Pour the rice into the pot. If you choose you can also place the chicken pieces in the pot between a two layers of the rice. I typically make the chicken separate from the rice for Zereshk Polo. At this time if you chose to save chicken stock you can pour it over the rice. I usually add a bit more oil to the chicken stock, plus some saffron. Obviously, if you want to keep your Zereshk Polo closer to a white and not a yellow you don’t want to pour saffron into your chicken stock. Once this is done cover the lid of the pot with a towel and place it over the pot. When steam starts escaping from the sides of the pot you can take the temperature down to a low setting. Allow the rice to cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Wash the zereshk (barberries) after cleaning them (make sure there are no stones mixed in). Place them in a small pot and set the temperature to medium. Add some oil to the zereshk (barberries) and add a tad bit of liquid saffron and then pour a couple spoons sugar into the pot and mix. Once they have cooked you can turn the heat to low or turn it off. If you leave it on the stove too long it can be over cooked. Do not cook it more than 2 minutes. When is done , take it off th stove for later.Please write us if you have any question.

Once you are ready to serve the rice put half the rice on a serving platter then mix 2/3 of the remaining rice with 2/3 of the barberries you cooked and pour on top of the rice on the platter. Then take the remaining rice and add saffron to it and the remaining barberries and decorate onto the top of the platter. Place the chicken around the platter or keep in a separate platter. You can save some barberries to sprinkle on top of the chicken as well.

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What is Persian Saffron?

Saffron, with its botanical name crocus sativus, is a natural spice with the highest quality, fascinating fragrance, pleasant flavor, and superb coloring strength. It is derived from the dried stigmas of the purple saffron crocus. Persian saffron is ranked the best around the world due to its deeper red color and fantastic smell that is world renowned. The genuine Persian saffron is not only being used in the culinary world but also has worldwide medicinal use.

Medicinal benefit of Saffron?

It has long been used in traditional medicine around the world, and modern scientific studies suggest that saffron could also have a role to play in fighting diseases. Research suggests that the carotenoid compounds responsible for saffron striking color (safranal, crocetin, crocin) could play a part in inhibiting the growth of tumors. The active constituents in saffron could help alleviate gastric problems, heart disease, insulin resistance, depression, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia and anxiety. Eating saffron also appears to help vision by slowing the degeneration of the retina that occurs with age.

How do you use Saffron?

It can be used in a lot of dishes. It would give the best aroma, color and flavor to the food.

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