Growing up in the US with my Persian family molded me into a home cook that’s always combining American and middle eastern recipes together. Experimenting with different fusion dishes has actually become one of my favorite things!
I was blessed to grow up being exposed to both cultures. As a kid and teenager, and even a young adult, growing up as an immigrant in America was hard and confusing at times. Trying to balance family expectations with American etiquette and social norms was not an easy task. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to truly appreciate my journey and where I am today.
I believe I’ve taken the best of both cultures and concocted a unique life perspective that even extends into my cooking style. This recipe is one of the fusion recipes that reflects that.
For those that don’t know much about Persian cuisine, the foundation to almost every meal is the infamous long grained basmati rice (seriously, the best and most delicious rice in the world! If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out). There’s also a specific set of spices that are staples in Persian food, including saffron, Persian spice (advieh, closely related to savory), and turmeric.
You’ll almost always find at least one of these spices in every Persian dish that exists. Persians also tend to use a lot of fruits in their cooking, especially pomegranates (mmm…), plums, and various dried fruits and berries. I’m sure you’ll see plenty of these ingredients in my recipes over time.
For this recipe, I’ve made a delicious yellow rice using turmeric with diced tomatoes and chicken broth for added flavor. I also roasted a juicy chicken with crispy skin to go with the rice along with a side of mint yogurt.
For the chicken I combined some chopped up garlic and parsley. Half of it gets stuffed into the cavity and the other half is stuffed underneath the skin of the whole chicken. Generously season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder, inside and out. Melt about half stick of butter and baste the entire chicken before popping in the oven.
With basmati rice, you first want to rinse the rice before cooking to remove excess starch. I measure my rice into the pot, fill the pot with water until the rice is covered, swirl around, and dump the water. Repeat 3-4 times until the water runs clear. Add diced tomato (mostly drained), chicken broth, salt, and turmeric and mix until combined. Add about half tablespoon of butter to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
I chose to serve the chicken and rice with a side of mint yogurt (Greek yogurt with some salt and dried mint, super easy!), but you could also serve this dish with a nice crisp salad of your choosing. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Roast Chicken Recipe
This recipe yields a juicy garlic herb roasted chicken with a flavorful crispy skin.
- 3-4 pound whole chicken
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbs salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbs butter
- Mince the garlic and finely chop the parsley and combine. Set aside.
- Discard any additional chicken parts included in the cavity. Rinse and pat dry the whole chicken.
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Put half of the garlic and parsley mixture into the chicken cavity and smear all along the inside of the chicken.
- Carefully stuff the rest of the garlic and parsley under the skin of the whole chicken taking care not to rip the skin.
- Put the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a shallow dish and mix. Generously season the chicken with the seasoning mix evenly around the whole chicken and rub some seasoning on the inside of the cavity.
- Melt the butter and baste whole chicken.
- Put in the oven back side up for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and flip the bird over so the breast is facing up. Re-baste with pan juices and put back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes.
- Turn oven heat up to 500F and continue cooking another 20 minutes until skin is nice and crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit at least 5 minutes.
- Carve chicken and serve over turmeric and tomato rice.
Turmeric and Tomato Rice Recipe
- 2 cups dry basmati rice (yields enough for 6 large servings)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, mostly drained
- 1 tbs turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups chicken broth (or 1 bullion cube and 3 cups water)
- 1/2 tbs butter
- Rinse rice at least 3 times or until water runs clear in a large pot.
- Add diced tomatoes, turmeric, salt, and broth to the pot and give a quick stir.
- Put butter in the pot and bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat. Let simmer for about 20-25 minutes until rice is fluffy.
- Serve with carved roast chicken.