Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe

Saffron Lemon Chicken with Persian Saffron Rice

Course Main Course, Poultry, Rice
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword basmati rice, chicken, cranberries, dates, how to cook Persian rice, lemon, lemon chicken, marinated chicken, persian rice, Persian saffron rice, rice, saffron, saffron chicken, saffron rice, Tadeg rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinate: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories 714 kcal



  • 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove of garlic 1 clove of garlic grated
  • 1 saffron 1 large pinch of saffron
  • 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lemon 1 lemon juiced
  • 6 chicken 6 chicken thighs and drumsticks mix, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • ¾ cup long-grain Basmati rice ¾ cup of long grain Basmati rice
  • 2 cups onion 2 cups onion chopped
  • cup dried cranberries ⅓ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ¼ cup almond ¼ cup almond, chopped
  • ½ cup dates ½ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon saffron strands 1 teaspoon of saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter 6 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper salt and pepper



  1. Melt the butter in a small pan, stir in the garlic and saffron, and cook over low heat for a few minutes. Stir in the honey and lemon juice. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

  2. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and toss in a shallow dish with the marinade. Marinate overnight, turning it once.

  3. Remove from the refrigerator and allow it to be at room temperature.


  1. In a small container, place the saffron strands and add 1 cup of hot water. Set aside

  2. In a large pan, add the rice ,cover it with water and add salt. Let it stand for A couple of hours.

  3. Rinse the rice and change the water one more time. Let it rest for another 30 minutes. Rinse and set aside.

  4. Bring a boil to a large pot of salted water and cook the rice for about 5 to 8 minutes or until it still has a bite, al dente. Do not let it go soft. Drain and set aside.

  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt and warm up the two (2) tablespoons of olive oil and one (1) tablespoon of butter. Add the onion and gently cook them until translucent.

  6. Add the cranberries, almonds, and dates. Season with salt and pepper. Stir into all the ingredients that are well incorporated.

  7. Serve alongside the chicken.


  1. Let the rice rest in plenty of salted water for a couple of hours. Rinse the rice once during the process. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a large pot bring water to a full boil. Add the drained rice and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. Your rice needs to be al dente. Drain when done.

  3. In a shallow round pan with a fitting lid, place one (1) tablespoon olive oil and two (2) tablespoon butter. Add half of the cooked rice and spread it to cover the bottom of the pan.

  4. Add the onion mixture to form a layer. Cover the mixture with the remainder of the rice.

  5. Spread the saffron with the water all over it. Add ¼ cup more water to the pan.

  6. Add the remaining oil and butter on top of the rice. Place over medium-high heat covered and ensure all the steam stays inside. Place a towel between the pan and the lid. Let it cook without touching it until the sides are turning a nice golden color.

  7. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken skin side down first and sauté until the skin is super crispy (It will look burned as expected because of the honey).

  8. Turn and cook the other side. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking the chicken until done.

  9. Remove the lid, invert on a large serving platter over the pot and carefully flip over. Not to worry if it sticks, as you can scrape it and add it to the plate.

Nutrition Facts
Saffron Lemon Chicken with Persian Saffron Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 714 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 232mg10%
Potassium 378mg11%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 787IU16%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 71mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.