Friday, November 27, 2009

Lemon, Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken and Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice

Since attending my friend and sorority-grandma, Sheri's, 2005 wedding, I've been obsessed with Persian/Iranian rice dishes. I love their rich flavors and texture. "Marmalade" rice is my favorite but I have yet to find a recipe for it...possibly because no one else calls it marmalade rice. When I spotted Jaden of Steamy Kitchen's Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice Polow, almost equally as long ago, I knew I wanted to make it. It was just a matter of finding sour cherries in light syrup and the inspiration to take the time to do it.

This recipe isn't quick but is worth the time if you like buttery, slightly crispy cherry flavored rice (mine wasn't sour). I halved the recipe as I only need so much decadence daily. Or rather I halved everything except the butter and cooking time. Needless to say the rice was a bit darker than usual and dripping with butter. Edible but not ideal. I used a paper towel to soak up some of the butter and made the remainder of the basmati rice to mix with the polow so I didn't die from clogged arteries. I should have just stuck to the recipe. In case you decide to halve the recipe, hopefully with greater success, my 24-oz jar of sour cherries contained approximately 1 cup of juice and 2 cups of cherries.

I made Oregano-Lemon Chicken with roasted rainbow carrots and red onion last week and liked how little work was required for juicy, well browned chicken but found the result too sweet. So I adjusted the recipe for this week making it more savory and roasting the decorative lemon slices from carmelized to slightly burnt (oops). I enjoyed its equally rich flavor in contrast with the sweet rice. This is probably my favorite roasted chicken preparation to date.

The combined dishes were a little sinful, very flavorful and definitely will be kept in mind for future dinner parties or movie-food nights.

Oregano-Lemon Chicken
Adapted from Taste of Home via

6 chicken thighs
3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 whole lemon is plenty.)
Lemon Slices
1 tablespoon honey (I used Buckwheat, which I own because dark honey has more antioxidants than lighter honey per SuperFoodsRx.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 tablespoons rosemary, chopped finely
5 springs of oregano leaves plucked

1. Place the chicken in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Combine the lemon juice, honey and oil; pour half over over chicken.Sprinkle garlic, rosemary and oregano over chicken. Pour remaining marinate over top.
2. Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F and chicken juices run clear, basting occasionally with pan juices.


  1. I saw this dish featured in a tv show recently...can't remember which one. I like the idea of crispy bits in un-fried rice.

  2. Hmm. I never watch cooking shows, so I missed it.

    Crispy bits are so good as is butter. I think I need to eat healthier, so I suppose it will be a while before I make this one again!

  3. Garlic is a plant very useful in türkiyede almost all the food we use a natural antibiotic and he is great in my taste.