5 from 9 votes

Persian Chicken with Saffron

Persian Chicken and Saffron is a traditional dish that can be served with several different side dishes. This amazing dish is made with the golden spice and is bursting with enchanting flavors from a land far far away.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 620 kcal
Author Shadi HasanzadeNemati


  • 4 Whole Chicken Leg Quarters Bone-in Skin-on
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Bloomed Saffron See Notes #1
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Sweet Onion Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper Cut into one-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon See Notes #2
  • 1 Cup Water


  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pat dry chicken legs and sprinkle salt on both sides. 

  2. Place the chicken legs, skin side down in the pan and sear until the skin is golden and the fat is rendered. 

  3. Add in one tablespoon bloomed saffron to the pan, shake the pan so the saffron spreads on the skin on the chicken. 

  4. Turn the chicken legs and sear the other side for seven to eight minutes until golden. 

  5. Transfer the chicken legs to a plate and cover. Discard the fat. 

  6. In the same pan, heat the olive oil. Once shimmery and ready, saute sliced until until translucent and golden on the edges. 

  7. Add in green bell pepper and saute for another minute. 

  8. Add in turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. Cook for another five minutes. 

  9. Place the chicken legs on the onion and pepper mixture. 

  10. Add in Water and turn the heat to high. 

  11. Bring it to simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes, until the chicken is almost cooked. 

  12. Add in the rest of bloomed saffron. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. 

  13. Serve with Persian rice, or Persian dill and green pea rice. 

Recipe Notes

  1. Saffron shouldn't be used as a strand in cooking. It needs to be ground and bloomed. Here is a complete tutorial on how to bloom saffron
  2. You can use one cinnamon stick in this recipe instead of ground cinnamon.