Persian Chicken


5 from 4 votes
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A never-fail Persian chicken recipe that yields juicy results every single time. Made with only a few simple ingredients, the meat is super flavorful and moist.

Iranian chicken.

If you have tried our instant pot whole chicken and air fryer whole chicken, it’s high time you tried cooking a whole chicken Persian style!

It features signature Iranian flavors like turmeric and saffron and uses just a handful of pantry staple seasonings to make the chicken truly shine.

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make Persian chicken 
  4. Tips to make the best recipe
  5. Variations
  6. Storage instructions
  7. More delicious ways to bake chicken
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. Persian Chicken (Recipe Card)

Why this recipe works

  • A fool-proof recipe. If you don’t trust your cooking skills and are looking for a whole chicken recipe that yields juicy and tender chicken no matter what, then this recipe is your best bet.
  • Hands-off cooking. As the chicken cooks in the oven, it’s quite the set and forget kind of dinner. I like to use the extra time to whip up some side dishes like basmati rice and a Shirazi salad.
  • Versatile. Persian-style chicken is one of the most versatile dishes. It is perfect for large gatherings and pairs well with a range of dishes. It’s no wonder my mom would make this at every family party.

Ingredients needed

This Iranian chicken recipe calls for only a few ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it. 

  • Chicken thighs. I like using boneless and skinless thighs, but you can keep the skin on if you want some extra flavor. You can also use a whole chicken, chicken quarters, or chicken drumsticks. Do not use chicken breasts because these will easily dry out.
  • Onion and garlic. Must-have aromatics in any good chicken dish.
  • Canned tomatoes. In their natural juices. The tomatoes add flavor, tenderize the meat, and help create a ‘gravy’ to soak your rice in.
  • Turmeric. Not only does it add a lovely flavor, but it gives the chicken some color, too.
  • Saffron. The secret ingredient! Saffron is perhaps the most famous Persian ingredient you could ever find. Traditional Iranian recipes will call for pure saffron, but if you don’t have this, any store-bought kind works.
  • Chicken broth. Adds flavor and keeps the chicken moist.
  • Salt. To taste.
  • Butter or oil. To cook.

How to make Persian chicken 

Step 1- Prep. Preheat the oven and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter or oil.

Step 2- Mix. Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken broth, in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined.

Step 3- Bake. Transfer the seasoned chicken. to the baking dish and pour the chicken broth all over. Bake for around one hour or when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • If you are aiming for the best flavor, buy pasture-raised organic-fed chicken. 
  • Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before you season it and bake it. Baking a cold bird will result in unevenly cooked chicken. 
  • Don’t waste the pan drippings or ‘gravy’. Drizzle them over the chicken before serving it over rice to soak up all those juices.
  • Always use an instant read thermometer to check the ‘doneness’ of the chicken. Ready-to-eat chicken should be 165F.


Chicken recipes like this one are always easy to customize. Here are some ideas to change up this slow-baked chicken recipe. 

  • Use the spice blend of your choice. You don’t have to stick to this particular spice blend for roasting this chicken. Chicken pairs well with a variety of spices and herbs. Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, curry powder,  red pepper flakes, oregano, rosemary, and thyme are only few of the spices and herbs that work well with chicken. 
  • Roast some veggies. Add some chopped potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and other vegetables of your choice to the baking tray when there are around 45 minutes left for the chicken to cook (like we do with a sheet pan chicken and veggies).
  • Use homemade chicken broth. If you have leftovers from a whole spatchcock chicken, boil down the bones and carcass to make a simple homemade broth. The overall flavor of this dish will taste incredible.

Storage instructions

To store. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 4 days. 

To freeze. You can freeze leftover chicken for up to 4 months. It is a good idea to shred the chicken first as shredded chicken is easier to defrost. 

To reheat. Reheat roasted chicken in the oven preheated to 350F degrees for 5-6 minutes.

persian chicken.

More delicious ways to bake chicken

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to cook chicken at 250 degrees?

For juicy and tender chicken, cook chicken at 250 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour per pound. Make sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken before you remove it from the oven. 

Can I substitute the saffron?

If you can’t find saffron, increase the turmeric by 1/2 teaspoon.

persian chicken recipe.

Persian Chicken

5 from 4 votes
This Persian Chicken ss moist, flavourful, and from my mom's kitchen.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs chopped roughly
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 13 1/2 ounces canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon butter


  • Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Grease a large baking dish generously with butter or oil.
  • 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, 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.
  • Remove from oven and cover with tin foil for 10 minutes to rest. Serve immediately, or allow to cool completely.


TO STORE. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 4 days. 
TO FREEZE. You can freeze leftover chicken for up to 4 months. It is a good idea to shred the chicken first as shredded chicken is easier to defrost. 
TO REHEAT. Reheat roasted chicken in the oven preheated to 350F degrees for 5-6 minutes.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 20gFat: 20gSodium: 322mgPotassium: 422mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 208IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 5g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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    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 🙂

      1. Ha! YES. I’ve tried so many times to enjoy ghormez sabzi and I just can NOT.

  1. 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. Oh wow- What a fantastic idea- I can only imagine how amazing those recipes will be- You’ll have to keep us updated on it!

      Please do! 🙂

  2. Wow, this is stunning and I can just picture the scenario of your mum cooking and you all sitting around the table. I really want to eat this.

  3. 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

  4. I love how you described that meal! It sounds really amazing. I’ve never had Persian food before. Totally want to try this.

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