Persian style chicken with rice. A delicious one-pan dinner that will have everyone coming back for more. The Persian inspired seasoning brings a hearty touch, elevating this dish to the next level. Finish off with a sprinkle of almonds for a truly comforting dinner.
Why You’ll Love this Chicken and Rice Recipe
This Persian inspired chicken and rice dinner cooks all in one skillet, making this recipe a weeknight-friendly option. It’s made using Persian spices, it’s warming, hearty and a perfect family meal for any night of the week. It’s also extremely adaptable! Add spinach, use chicken thighs or swap basmati rice for wild rice.
How to Make One-Pot Chicken and Rice
Everything starts with the chicken drumsticks, which are seasoned with a garlicky spice rub and sprinkled with lemon juice. We sear them in oil and butter for a nice crispy outer layer and to render out the fat. Once the chicken has been seared, we sweat the garlic and onion until fragrant. Next add in the spices and stir in the rice.
The spices are what sets this dinner apart while making it especially delicious. Traditionally, Persian dishes involve spices like cinnamon, cumin, turmeric or cardamon. We’re using a blend of sumac, cumin and coriander. Saffron is also typical, I left that out, but if you have some around, go ahead and add a pinch. I’m sure it will be delicious.
When that’s done, we add chicken broth, bring everything to a boil and allow the rice to simmer before adding the chickpeas and chicken to the skillet. We simmer for 5 minutes, then sprinkle almonds on top and transfer the entire skillet to the oven to finish cooking.
Serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, cilantro or chives. And that’s it, serve and enjoy!
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO.
What’s great about this chicken and rice dinner is that it incorporates a variety of flavors and textures. Yet it’s super easy to prepare in only one skillet. Great for any night of the week, but also special enough to impress your guests at you next dinner party. Just add a big side salad for a real crowd pleasing dinner.
What’s Needed to Make this Persian Chicken with Rice
- Chicken drumsticks: You can swap them for bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs, wings, or a mix of bone-in chicken parts. The most important thing is to make sure you use chicken pieces with skin on and bone in. Both, the skin and bones, will give lots of flavor to the dish.
- Seasoning: Salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander and sumac. The spice blend for the chicken and rice, made with common spices you may already have in your pantry. Sumac is a seasoning that adds a brightness and tartness, similar to lemon juice. If you can’t find it, use lemon zest.
- Lemon juice: Adds a delicious tang to the chicken and helps to keep it tender and juicy.
- Olive oil and butter: To create a deliciously crispy golden brown skin. This wouldn’t be possible if we’d only use olive oil. And butter alone would burn.
- Garlic and onion: Our flavor base.
- Chickpeas: You can swap them for white beans or green peas.
- Rice: I used Basmati rice, which adds a distinctive nutty flavor and a unique, slightly floral aroma. But you can use any type of rice except for sticky rice.
- Chicken broth: To elevate this dish, the flavors would never be the same if we’d use water and salt.
- Almonds: They’re a must! So delicious! If you don’t have any on hand, use pistachios.
- Serve with a big leafy salad drizzled with yogurt dressing or a creamy cucumber salad.
- Add more veggies, like spinach, bell pepper, green peas,… Or swap chickpeas for cannellini beans.
- Delicious when you add raisins, dried apricots or preserved lemons.
- Experiment with spices! Add cardamon, cinnamon, turmeric or saffron.
- Allow the chicken to reach room temperature! First season the chicken drumsticks, then allow them to sit outside the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Make ahead: You can also marinate the drumsticks the night before and store them in the refrigerator, just take them out 20 à 30 minutes before you start to cook. Allowing the chicken to come closer to room temperature will make them tender and juicy.
- Leftovers will keep for 2 days in the fridge.
- To freeze: Cool completely, then freeze in airtight containers. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat, preferably on the stove, adding a splash of water.
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Cooking Video: How To Make Persian Style Chicken with Rice
- 8 chicken drumsticks, about 2.2 pounds/1 kg
- 2 tsp each: salt and black pepper, divided
- 1 tsp each: sweet paprika, garlic powder
- juice from ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp each: ground cumin, sumac
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 cup/200 g uncooked basmati rice
- 1 can (14 oz/400 g) chickpeas, drained
- 3 ½ cups/750 ml chicken broth
- ½ cup/30 g almonds, roughly chopped
- cilantro and pomegranate seeds, for serving (optional)
- To a big bowl, add drumsticks, paprika, garlic powder, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Massage the chicken with the spice mixture. Set aside.
- In the meantime, finely chop the onion, mince the garlic and roughly chop the almonds.
- Heat butter and the remaining oil in a large ovenproof skillet or pot over medium. Add drumsticks and cook 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet onto a clean plate.
- Add onion and garlic, cook for 3 minutes. Add cumin, sumac, coriander and the remaining salt and pepper. Add rice and stir until incorporated, toast for 1 minute.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Add more broth if needed.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Stir in chickpeas and nestle chicken drumsticks in the rice, cover and simmer for 5 minutes more.
- Remove the lid and sprinkle with almonds. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden. Top with cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 657Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 243mgSodium: 2173mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 5gSugar: 19gProtein: 50g
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.