Persian Chicken (Morgh)

This authentic and delicious dish is a typical Iranian recipe. It’s quite flavorful, and thanks to the saffron, it has nice color and aroma. This dish is always served with a kind of rice. It can be Plain rice, jeweled rice (zereshk polow), or any other kind of rice. This recipe is only for making the chicken, but I have added the recipe for jeweled rice before if you want to serve them together. Also, in this recipe, you do not have to use chicken thighs. You can use any other parts of the chicken based on your preference. Let’s get started!


persian chicken morgh
  • 4 Pieces 4 chicken thighs or any other part, skin removed
  • 2 medium onions
  • ¼ Cups lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Cup dried apricot or plumes *Optional
  • ½ Teaspoons ground saffron
  • water
  • 4 Tablespoons oil


  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large pot. Rough chop one of the onions and add it on top of the chicken. Add salt and half of the turmeric, and black pepper.
  2. Add enough water to the pot until it almost covers the chicken pieces. Place the lid and let it cook over medium heat.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, grate the other onion using a blender or a grate. Put it in a frying pan, add oil, and the remaining turmeric and black pepper.
  4. When the onions turn golden, add tomato paste to it, mix well, and set aside.
  5. When the chicken pieces are soft and almost cooked, remove them from the pot and place them in a frying pan with heated oil. Fry the chicken pieces over medium heat until they change color and are almost light brown.
  6. Do not throw the remaining water away. You need to keep it for the next steps.
  7. Suppose you choose to use dried plums or apricots; now it’s time to add them. Note that this is an optional step.
  8. Now it’s time to add the onion and tomato paste mix on top of the chicken pieces. Try to add them in a way each piece is coated with a layer of the mixture.
  9. Take out one glass of water from the pot you removed the chickens from and add it to the chicken and onions. Also, add lemon juice and saffron. Place the lid and let it cook over low heat until the sauce is thick.
  10. Serve warm. A good way to garnish is by adding french fries, parsley, and lemon pieces.