Persian chicken bake with jewelled rice

Persian chicken bake
Prep time
Cook time

This Persian chicken dish is packed with wonderful flavours that are set to wow your dinner guests.


  • 30ml ghee or sunflower oil
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5ml paprika
  • 2,5ml turmeric
  • 2,5ml ground cinnamon
  • 50ml pomegranate molasses
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 80g walnuts, pounded with a pestle and mortar until coarsely ground
  Jewelled rice
  • 500ml basmati rice, cooked
  • 40ml ghee or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2,5ml ground cumin
  • 2,5ml turmeric
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 5ml honey
  • salt and pepper 
  • 100ml cranberries or sultanas
  • 60ml pistachios, chopped
  • 125ml pomegranate rubies
  • fresh coriander and parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Heat the ghee or oil in an ovenproof casserole on medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides. Season and remove from the casserole.
  • Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the spices, pomegranate molasses, stock and walnuts, and bring to the boil.
  • Add the chicken back into the casserole. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes until cooked through (the sauce should have thickened). Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  • Serve with the jewelled rice (see below), fresh parsley and coriander. 
  To make the jewelled rice:
  • Heat the ghee or butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft and golden brown.
  • Add the rice, spices, honey and cranberries.
  • Allow to cook for a few minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  • Add the pistachios and pomegranate rubies and serve with the chicken.