Slow roasted Persian Chicken

This slow roasted Persian style chicken is juicy, flavourful and impressive- Yet is SO simple to whip up! Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, it’s gluten free, paleo and dairy free! 

Slow Roasted Persian Chicken (Whole 30, Paleo, GF)- Whole30 Friendly juicy, moist and EASY Persian style chicken perfect for a low carb, high protein and flavorful meal- Lunch, dinner and freezer friendly! {paleo, gluten free, whole30}-


This month’s recipe redux theme- 

A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful

In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.


Recipe development and experimentation is something I genuinely enjoy most of the time.

Sometimes, nothing beats making a family favourite recipe passed down from one generation to the next.

No fancy adaptions.

No complicated processes.

No ingredients which require you to sell your soul to obtain.


Just a classic, family meal made with love.

I always knew whenever we’d be having ‘chicken night’ as I used to call it. It was often on weekends when Mum didn’t have work and she’d spend a solid four hours straight in the kitchen with Celine Dion playing in the background. From around 3pm, mum would turn on the oven, collate her herbs together and begin to assemble this dish.

My sister and I would be oblivious to all of this- all we thought was ‘mum’s in the kitchen for a long time’ and the end result was chicken. Good chicken.

Scrap that- The most delicious chicken.


 My mum had a special way of serving it to us- the table would be set and there would be the standard sides with any Persian meal- Pita bread, natural yogurt, homemade pickles and a very simple green salad tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. On each plate was a mount of buttered, basmati rice ready for the main attraction to be placed upon it- The slow roasted chicken.

It was like a system in place- Get my plate, add the chicken, put some pickles and a dollop of natural yogurt and it was time to dig in. I can recall that every Persian dish followed this process to a T- the main, the pickles, the yogurt– It was as though it was ingrained.


Persian Slow Roasted Chicken

A healthy, delicious chicken dish which is moist, flavourful and from my mum's kitchen.
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Servings: 4
Author: Arman @ thebigmansworld


  • 1 kilogram chicken thighs chopped roughly
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes 400 grams
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pure saffron
  • 1 T Norbu natural sweetener or 2 tsp natvia or sweetener of choice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Butter oil or cooking spray
  • Torn spinach for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. In a large baking dish, generously coat it with butter, oil or cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped chicken thighs, onions, minced garlic and mix well. Stir through the diced tomatoes. Add in the turmeric, saffron, norbu natural sweetener/natvia/sweetener of choice and salt and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add the chicken mixture into the greased baking dish. Gently pour the chicken stock over the chicken mixture evenly. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 1 hour, gently stirring halfway. Chicken is cooked when you insert a skewer, and juices are clear. Alternatively, you can cut the centre piece and ensure it isn't pink.
  • Remove from oven and cover with tin foil for 10 minutes to rest. Serve immediately, or allow to cool completely.


This chicken can be frozen once cooled, or refrigerated for up to three days.

Slow Roasted Persian Chicken (Whole 30, Paleo, GF)- Whole30 Friendly juicy, moist and EASY Persian style chicken perfect for a low carb, high protein and flavorful meal- Lunch, dinner and freezer friendly! {paleo, gluten free, whole30}-

I made this dish after asking you, the readers, what you wanted. I ate it over three nights and froze the leftovers. I bought a small tub of natural yogurt, a jar of pickles, a bed of (microwaved) basmati rice and some pita bread. Not because I wanted those sides particularly much- but because it was ingrained in me to do so.

What is a childhood meal which brings back recipes for you? 

What were typical side dishes for you growing up?

Ever eaten homemade pickles?

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111 thoughts on “Slow roasted Persian Chicken

  1. This chicken recipe looks and sounds sooo good ! I was scared that it required a slow cooker but thank you for this method instead so I can actually make it!! I love how those dinner ritual are ingrained into you, that’s so interesting.
    I can’t remember such a special ritual or routine. We often ate the same things in a maybe 2 week cycle. I loved my mum’s spaghetti with meat sauce and pancakes (savoury and sweet, for dinner, lol).
    I’ve never had homemade pickles but wanted to make them for so long now! I really should make them once, it’s not difficult I think.

  2. This sounds soooooo soooooo good! Unfortunately I am VERY hungry right now and just seeing this sends me a bit over the edge! And those pictures! LOVE THEM! So pretty! Very very good job!

  3. I would love to try your mom’s cooking,..this sounds divine! Growing up, we used to eat this Ghanian chicken curry almost every Sunday made from peanuts. We’d serve it with rice & a variety of toppings including coconut shreds, peanuts, onions, and papaya…so effing delicious!

  4. Oh Arman this looks so good! And I love that it all goes in a pot, in the oven and cooks away!
    Did your mum ever make Persian lamb? I had that in Abu Dhabi – I still have dreams about that dish, encrusted with pomegranate jewels!

  5. This looks so good!! Pinning for sure. And I know it’s not the same (at all) but every time Miguel and I go to DC we eat Peruvian chicken….. and every time you talk about Persian chicken I think about how much I love Peruvian chicken….. random!

  6. MUST TRY THIS. Totally making this, when I have time to actually think about meals again. Love all the flavors. Must have with like a quart of tabbouleh though.

  7. Wait is this is the same Persian chicken recipe you posted ages ago? Because I already have that one pinned and I don’t know if I should pin this one too! #firstworldproblems

    I make a lot of recipes passed down from my Nana to my dad to me. One of my favourites is her coq au vin recipe. So dang good!

  8. I won’t be making this, but your photos sure look good. When I think about my childhood I think of mac and cheese and 17 servings of jalapeno poppers. No wonder I was such a chunker.

  9. My mum was born in Persia (way back in the 30’s when it was still Persia!) though she was a displaced Russian but to her dying day still spoke a bit and loved Persian things…including the food of course. Most of my sandwiches were in pita bread though stuffed randomly (:

    We had Russian homemade goods though such as borscht (days in fridge made it even better) and lots of other such goodies.

    Ahhh…the taste of home!

    1. WHAT! No way- thanks for letting me know! And my grandma has Russian/Turkish roots too!

      Hahahahahahaha that is awesome- I grew up thinking pita bread was the ‘standard bread’ and then got bullied at school. And Borscht- oh man, my grandma makes the best! This comment from you is awesome!

  10. Hey you stepped away from the cookies and stuff! This looks bomb. Also, how funny, I wrote about the Spartans and you wrote about Persians. Sort of. I dunno.

  11. Now I have a craving for a homemade pickle! You talk about this chicken all the time and I can see why, it looks incredible and I can only imagine how it tastes.

    It’s funny how food traditions get ingrained in us, I was getting ingredients for tacos last weekend and put a can of olives in my basket, not because I like olives on my tacos but because that’s one of the toppings my mom always had for us growing up.

  12. Hurrah for Persian food! So glad you shared another recipe. I like hearing about your family’s traditions. Did you generally sprinkle sumac on your food? Whenever I have had Persian food there is always sumac for sprinkling. I have not seen pickles, instead the meal begins with lavish, onion slices, and sometimes, fresh herbs.

    Growing up we always, always had green salad and at least one cooked vegetable with our meals. We rarely ate meat and a starch. My mom made lots of casseroles, soups, and stir-frys. Heavy on starch and veggies and low on meat. We also had to have a glass of milk. Sometimes, when I set the table I would purposely not set out milk glasses. Since my parents never drank milk they might not notice and I could enjoy my meal free of the dreaded glass o’ milk. However, my eldest brother loves milk and would ask, “Hey, where’s the milk?” Thanks a lot bro!

    I’ve never had a homemade pickle. I eat cucumbers often but cannot say I’m a fan of pickles.

    1. Thank you! and YES- especially if it was kebab! Mum brought back some from Iran a few years ago and we treasure it like gold!

      Wow, I’m surprised you haven’t seen pickles- the cauliflower and carrot ones are delicious! The milk story is funny- I had a similar instance but at breakfast time- but I despised it!

  13. that looks incredible!
    Yum! Speaking/thinking of chicken thighs. My moms apricot chicken in the slow cooker with rice was ALWAYS my favorite
    Other memories: handmade perogies, stuffed cabbage (golumpki) and my moms famous egg/kielbasa/pepper/onions scrambles
    Also I remember my father and grandmother cracking hazelnuts for us , we could NEVER get enough!

    YES I love homemade pickles and make them ALL the time. My family also makes saurkraut and mushrooms (marinated)

  14. Yesss…I cannot wait to try this! I loved hearing about your family’s traditions too (especially because now I know exactly what to serve with this).

    Sunday dinner growing up was often roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and gravyyy. Still one of my favorites.

  15. I want to eat a sit down Persian meal cooked by your mum while she sings Celine Dion in the kitchen. It sounds wonderful, well minus Celine. I could handle two songs at most before I’d need to swap music. 🙂

    I remember either Broccoli smothered in homemade cheese sauce or Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes growing up. Those were the star dishes of my childhood.

  16. Hi! Just found your blog. I love Persian and Middle Eastern food. One question about this recipe: is it necessary to use a sweetener? I am trying to limit not only my carbs but also my sugar intake.

  17. I’m picking up 40 lbs of chicken this weekend for the freezer – this will be the first recipe I use with it…it looks fabulous!! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  18. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share next time!

  19. Made this last night, it was so tasty, my 2 and 5 year old (and husband) loved it too. Only had to buy one ingredient that wasn’t already in the pantry. Thanks sarah

  20. I don’t eat chicken, but this sounds delicious! I also have a feeling your mama and I will get along, because I love Celine Dion too, haha! I love how you described it as a bit of a system- you just kinda knew what to do as you went along. Sounds like a wonderful memory 🙂

  21. I’m just loving reading about everyone’s fond childhood memories involving food, funny how food can evoke such feeling. I for one am thankful you shared this special dish. I adore these flavors more than any and am excited to attempt this one. Pinned. Happy to now be following your blog! oxox

  22. Old family recipes are the best! I’m in the process of making my late father in law’s recipes and sharing them on my blog and making a family cookbook out of them. He was an amazing cook and we miss him dearly. Your chicken looks fabulous…I’m looking forward to trying it!

    1. Hi Laura! Ghormeh Sabzi is perhaps the one Persian food I despise the most haha! In all seriousness, it differs considerably to Sabzi Polo ba Mahi- Ghormeh Sabzi is more of a hearty stew based of veal or beef and with greens and sometimes raisins- Eaten on fluffy basmati rice. Saabs Polo ba Mahi is more of a plain fluffy basmati rice with fried or steamed fish with it! 🙂

      Mum makes this with chicken breasts but I love using thighs because they are much more flavourful- Definitely boneless 🙂

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