Saffron Chicken with Parsley and Lemon
If you like the distinctive flavor of saffron, this Saffron Chicken with Parsley and Lemon is a traditional way to use it, and this delicious chicken is a classic dish!
Have you ever cooked with saffron? It’s widely acknowledged to be the most expensive spice in the world, but you only need a tiny pinch to add delicious flavor to a dish like Paella, Saffron Rice, and this delicious Saffron Chicken which I first tasted when my Iranian friend Massoud made it for me.
When I made this recipe for the blog in 2005 I consulted Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes in the World and tried to remember how Massoud had done it. For this updated version I did a little more online research and ended up revising my original instructions just a bit. Saffron is maybe an acquired taste, but people crave it all over the middle east, and I thought it was delicious in this Saffron Chicken.
How to Make Saffron Chicken with Parsley and Lemon:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)
- Massoud and Mark Bittman would both probably make this with chicken thighs, but I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and they worked great. Take your choice on that! I cut the breasts on the diagonal to make small cutlets.
- Heat 1 T olive oil and a tiny bit of butter in a heavy pan and brown the chicken pieces quickly using medium-high heat. Take care not to overcook the chicken in this step.
- Remove chicken to a plate, add the slivered onions and cook over low heat until the onions are nicely browned, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the onions to a second plate.
- Heat the chicken stock in the microwave until it’s very warm, then stir in the saffron.
- Put the chicken back into the pan, arrange the onions over the chicken, and pour the saffron-infused chicken stock over.
- Cover the pan and cook over a very low simmer for about 30 minutes without turning the chicken.
- After 30 minutes, add the lemon juice and parsley, and a bit of water if needed and simmer 10-15 minutes more. Serve hot, over rice if desired.
More Tasty Recipes with Saffron:
Risotto with Shrimp and Asparagus ~ The Perfect Pantry
Grilled Salmon Packets ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Saffron Roasted Cauliflower ~ Chocolate and Zucchini
Whole Wheat Couscous with Saffron and Onions ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Squash Soup with Saffron and Ginger ~ Andrea Meyers
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or use 4 -5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer)
- 1 onion, cut in lengthwise slivers
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T butter (or more if you prefer)
- pinch saffron (about 1/4 tsp. or less)
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts and cut in 1/2 strips on the diagonal to make small cutlets.
- Peel the onions and cut into lengthwise slivers and chop parsley.
- Use a heavy frying pan which is not too large and has a tight-fitting lid. Heat the olive oil and butter, then brown the chicken quickly over medium-high heat. (Don’t let it cook long enough that the outside starts to get hard. The chicken does not need to be cooked through.)
- Remove chicken to a plate, add onion, and brown over very low heat until edges of onion pieces are turning golden, about 12-15 minutes. Remove browned onions to another plate.
- Add chicken back to pan, and cover with onions.
- Heat chicken stock, add saffron and stir to dissolve, then pour over chicken and onions.
- Simmer on very low heat with pan covered 30-45 minutes.
- Add chopped parsley, lemon juice, and a tiny bit of additional water if needed, and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve hot, over rice if desired.
Recipe from my friend Massoud and The Best Recipes in the World.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 40g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Saffron Chicken with Parsley and Lemon made with boneless-skinless chicken breasts would be approved for any phase of the South Beach diet, and it would also work for other low-carb eating plans. South Beach would prefer limited amounts of butter, but you could use more butter if you’re following a low-carb/high-fat eating plan.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Chicken Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.