BRAISED SAFFRON CHICKEN:
- about 2 pounds of organic skinless chicken-(either whole cut up chicken, or a combination of thighs, breasts, and drumsticks)
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced (see below)
- 2 tbs turmeric
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 tbs safflower (or your preferred vegetable) oil
- 1 tsp ground saffron (or a few strands seeped in warm water)
*braising is the cooking method where the food is seared (browned in a pan at a high temperature) first, then simmered with a small amount of liquid in a closed pot (pot with a lid) until tender.
2. add a small cup (slightly less) of water and the bay leaves, cover (letting the steam out slightly), and allow the chicken to simmer softly on med/low heat for at least one hour, preferably an hour and a half. check the chicken often to make sure you don’t need to add water, adding only a little at a time if necessary-after about 1.5 hours, the onions should be almost melted, and the chicken should be very tender.
3. add the saffron (diluted in a tiny bit of warm water) and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. don’t add the saffron any sooner, as it will lose intensity of odor and flavor. you can cook the chicken ahead (leaving the saffron out), and reheat (add saffron) for 10-15 minutes prior to serving. your chicken should be falling off the bone-if you use boneless, it is ready to serve, otherwise, remove any extra (unattractive) bones, and serve over the rice with the wonderful juices (which should be slightly thickened).
- 2-3 tbsps kosher salt
- 3 cups long grain basmati rice
- 2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbs dry rose petals (gole sorkh)
- 1 tsp (or about 10-12 whole strands seeped in water) ground saffron
- 1/2 to 1 cup barberries (cleaned)
- 1 tbs butter
- 1-2 tsp brow cane sugar or 2 tsp good orange marmalade
- 2-3 tbsp oil (safflower)
1. boil about 8 cups of water with 2 tbs kosher salt. clean and wash your rice about 4-5 times until the water is clear, and add it to the boiling water. now the tricky part-keep a close eye on the rice while it boils briskly (on high) for about 6-10 minutes, and gently stir a few times (not too much). when the rice looks like it has softened (at about 7 minutes), drain it in a large fine mesh colander. rinse with warm water.
3. cook on medium high for about 10 minutes *(don’t move away from the pot or you’ll forget-set a timer if you have to)*, then reduce heat to medium/low and cook for 50-60 minutes more without lifting the lid (lets the steam escape).
melt butter in a small sauce pan, then add cleaned barberries and either some cane brown sugar or the orange marmalade (mostly the syrup)-keep the heat on low as barberries can burn very easily. add saffron (diluting it with a few drops of warm water prior to adding). combine well, turn off the heat.
- 6-7 peeled or un-peeled finely cubed organic persian cucumbers
- 3 medium cubed ripe tomatoes
- 3-4 sliced green onions (or 2 tsp finely minced red onion)
- small bunch finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 3-4 tbs lime juice (freshly squeezed)
- 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper