These Persian Chicken Breasts are quick and easy, making an exotic yet comforting dinner, perfect for serving with some jeweled rice and salad.
The chicken sits in a simple marinade that includes olive oil, turmeric, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, and allspice. This infuses the meat with sweet and savory flavors, perfect for cooking on the grill or in a skillet.
This Persian Chicken and rice recipe is based on a traditional Iranian dish, that is bursting with flavor yet mild enough for the whole family.
Persian Chicken Spices
The seasonings used to marinade the chicken breasts are all common spices that you probably already have in your pantry/cupboard.
The Persian chicken seasoning includes:
- Black Pepper
These are all mixed together with some olive oil and a crushed garlic clove. The chicken can then be covered and left to marinate for an hour or up to 24 hours.
We usually add it to the marinade in the morning and cook it for dinner, so it gets around 10 hours.
How to cook Persian Chicken
Once the chicken has had its time in the marinade, you want to bring it out of the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to take off the chill from the meat and allow the olive oil to soften.
The chicken can then be cooked on a grill or in a heavy skillet/frying pan. The chicken needs just 3 minutes on each side and it will be juicy and tender. (This is because we are using chicken breast fillets – see below)
Be sure to cook it over high heat so you get some wonderful color on the outside of the breast.
Filleting Chicken Breasts
The recipe calls for two large chicken breasts and these are going to be cut into 4 fillets. You can buy chicken fillets or escallops from the butcher if you prefer.
The beauty of chicken fillets is that they cook quickly and are usually more even in thickness. This ensures that the whole fillet stays juicy and tender when cooked and makes the time needed to cook less.
To fillet a chicken breast, lay the chicken breast flat on a chopping board with the smooth side facing up. Take a long sharp knife and carefully cut horizontally through the chicken breast, trying to keep your knife parallel to the chopping board at all times. The chicken breast will start to open up like a book and if you continue to cut through you will be left with two fillets.
What to serve with Persian Chicken
Persian chicken is traditionally served with jeweled rice pilaf.
Jeweled rice is long grain rice, cooked with onions, spices, and stock, with nuts and dried fruit stirred through at the end. You can get my recipe for Persian Rice here on Wednesday.
Chicken Breast Recipe Collection:
- Skillet Greek Lemon Dill Chicken
- Grilled Sweet Cajun Chicken
- Easy Creamy Basil Chicken Breasts
- Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes
- Easy Crispy Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts
- See all Chicken Breast recipes
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Easy Persian Chicken Breasts Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne – optional
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp honey
- parsley – for garnish
Start by filleting the chicken breasts
- Lay the chicken breast flat on a chopping board with the smooth side facing up. Take a long sharp knife and carefully cut horizontally through the chicken breast, trying to keep your knife parallel to the chopping board at all times.
- The chicken breast will start to open up like a book and if you continue to cut through you will be left with two fillets. Repeat with the second chicken breast.
To marinate the chicken
- Pour the olive oil into a non-metallic dish and then add in the turmeric, salt, paprika, cayenne (if using) cinnamon, allspice, and pepper. Mix together to create a paste.
- Slice up the garlic clove, add to the spice paste and mix well.
- Add the chicken fillets and turn to coat.
- Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
To cook the chicken
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator for 15 minutes before cooking.
- Place a heavy-based frying pan, skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and let it get hot.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, pushing off any bits of garlic.
- Place the chicken breasts flat into the frying pan and cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for a further 3 minutes or until cooked through.
- Brush the chicken with honey and served garnished with chopped parsley and lemon slices.