Persian-Inspired Chicken Braise With Tons Of Spices And Dried Black Limes
Monday, October 2, 2017 at 4:53PM
Mark Scarbrough in Chicken braise, Comfort Food, Main Courses, Persian chicken, braise, chicken supper, middle eastern food

Wow. Just wow. There's no headnote to write for this recipe. It's that good. It's chicken. It's Middle Eastern spice bazaar stuff. It's comforting. It's hearty. It's warming. It's amazing.

Was that a headnote? Probably not. To know more about this dish, check out our podcast episode in which we make it in real time. It's right here. Or here. Pick your platform. Also, IHeart Radio. Or Stitcher. We're everywhere!

Oh, and the black limes in the title (and the recipe). Right. They're "limoo amani" (or "limoo omani"), either way for those of you who know Farsi. These are a Middle Eastern specialty. If you read Yotam Ottolenghi's books, you're familiar with them. But you can find them here. Probably on amazon, too. I'm not linking to them. They already own the world. And most likely at large gourmet supermarkets, too, as well (of course) as Middle Eastern markets. They'll add a musky, sour pop to the dish, essential for its flavor profile.

Anyway, after that,

Persian-Inspired Chicken Braise With Tons Of Spices And Dried Black Limes

Makes about 6 servings, maybe 8 (6 of us ate it)

1. To make the spice paste, mix the crushed dried black lime, ginger, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, turmeric, minced garlic, cardamom seeds, salt, saffron, and 1/4 cup oil in a large plastic bag until fairly uniform. Add the chicken thighs, seal the bag, and rub the spice mixture evenly and thoroughly over the chicken. Remove excess air from the bag, seal well, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

2. Set the rack in the oven so that the pot or Dutch oven you're going to use will fit as close to the middle of the oven as possible. Heat the oven to 350F.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add half the chicken thighs and brown well, turning once, about 6 minutes. Transfer these to a plate and brown the remaining chicken thighs before removing them from the pot.

4. Add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until well softened, about 6 minutes. Add the cashews, dried apricots, and tamarind concentrate, stirring to coat the onions.

5. Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits in the pot. Then add the whole dried black limes as well as the browned chicken. Bring to a full boil, then cover and slip into the oven.

6. Bake until the chicken is absurdly tender at the bone, about 50 minutes.

7. When done, transfer the chicken thighs to a large serving platter. Bring the remaining sauce (and onions and other things) to a boil on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring almost constantly, until reduced a bit, maybe about 4 minutes, not too thick but not watery. Pour this sauce over the chicken. Garnish with the fresh mint and cilantro. Serve the dish alongside the cooked rice.

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