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Tachin Joojeh


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Tachin Joojeh

Looking for a more eye-catching way to serve chicken and rice? Try tachin joojeh–a Persian dish with a crispy brown layer of saffron rice that gives way to fragrant sautéed chicken and onions. When you invert this casserole onto a platter, it looks like a savory upside down cake! Serve it with a bright yogurt sauce and barberries for a pop of sweetness.

Ingredients

for 4 servings

MARINATED CHICKEN

  • 1 cup full fat greek yogurt(245 g)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast(680 g)

YOGURT RICE

  • 4 cups water(960 mL)
  • 2 ¼ cups basmati rice(450 g), rinsed
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron thread, optional
  • 1 tablespoon warm water, optional
  • ¾ cup plain full-fat greek yogurt(185 g)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

CHICKEN AND ONIONS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

ASSEMBLY

  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup barberries(50 g), sultanas or currants
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

YOGURT SAUCE

  • 1 cup plain full-fat greek yogurt(245 g)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ lemon, juiced

 

Preparation

Make the marinade: In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon zest, garlic, turmeric, pepper, ginger, and salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Make the yogurt rice: Add the water to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. The rice should be slightly translucent with a completely opaque center. Set aside to drain completely.

If using the saffron, combine with the warm water in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and let bloom for about 5 minutes, until the water has cooled.

In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, egg yolks, turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper, and bloomed saffron, if using, until bright orange-yellow. Add half of the rice and stir to incorporate. Set aside.

Cook the chicken and onions: Wipe the marinade off the chicken, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook until just translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 minute, until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, then add the chicken and cook until just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Grease a 2½-quart ovenproof glass bowl or a 5-inch square casserole dish with the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add the yogurt rice to the prepared bowl and pack down with a spatula. Evenly distribute chicken and onion mixture over the yogurt rice and pack down. Add the remaining cooked rice on top in an even layer. Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover the bowl and then wrap tightly with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the rice on the bottom is crispy and browned.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, mint, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, ginger, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

In a small pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the barberries and sauté for 3 minutes, until warmed. Remove the pan from the heat and season with a pinch of salt.

To serve, carefully invert the bowl onto a serving platter or cutting board. If it does not release, take a spatula and run it along the sides, then try again. Spoon some of the yogurt sauce over the top and sprinkle with the barberries. Serve with the remaining yogurt sauce alongside.

Enjoy!

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