Tayebeh’s Zereshk Polo ba Morgh

by Oliver Hagen August 09, 2020 4 min read

Tayebeh’s Zereshk Polo ba Morgh

Liquid error (recipe-products line 9): comparison of String with 0 failed
Serves 4-5 | 1 Hour

Introducing the first in our Takeover Series with Free to Feed. Tayebeh is an incredible cooking instructor at Free to Feed, and she is taking us through a traditional dish she learnt from her mother growing up in Iran.

'The name of the dish is Zereshk Polo ba Morgh it’s barberry rice with chicken and it’s traditional in my side of Iran and my mother taught me to do it. My favourite ingredient in this dish is saffron, it brings me so many memories from my country... I love cooking because it makes me feel good about my family, my culture and my country'. 

We are SO grateful for Tayebeh sharing this recipe, we know you are going to love it! 


From Hagen's:

3 chicken breasts approx 900g*
3 chicken thigh fillets approx 300g*

From the pantry or the Hagen's Veggie Box:

4 cups golden “sela” basmati rice**
1 large potato 
50g butter 
1 cup barberries, washed
½ cup sliced pistachio
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 brown onion 
2 tsp turmeric 
½ tsp ground cardamom
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cinnamon stick 
Juice of 1 lemon 
Salt & pepper 
A big pinch Saffron
Small dash of rose water 
100ml vegetable oil 

*Due to Covid19 purchasing restrictions, customers are limited to 500g of poultry per purchase. We apologise for any inconvenience.

**This is Tayebehs preferred rice but if you are unable to source this then basmati rice is an acceptable substitute - she likes sela because of the longer grains and tendency not to stick together.



To cook the rice:

1. Wash the rice 3 times in cold water, then place in a bowl and cover with cold water, add 1 ½ tablespoons salt and soak for 2 - 3 hours ( if you don't have time, then wash and soak the rice in boiling water for 30 minutes- don't forget to add the salt. Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to the boil, add a tablespoon of salt. When boiling add the drained rice, cook for about 7-10 minutes, until the rice is par-cooked (it will still be hard in the centre). Drain in a colander.

2. Peel the potato and slice into 4mm thick slices. Using a non-stick pan, place over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and place the slices of potato so they cover the bottom of the pot. (this creates a tahdig - a deliciously crispy crust that you are sure to fight over!)

3. Add the par-cooked rice, heaping in the middle to form a slight dome shape. Using the handle of a spoon, create holes in the rice. (this allows the steam to rise and help create fluffy rice). Reduce heat, cover with a lid wrapped in a clean tea towel (this captures the condensation and stops it from dripping back into the rice). Leave for 25 mins or until the rice is fully cooked.


To bloom the saffron :

1. Combine saffron with a pinch of sugar. Using a mortar & pestle grind the saffron and sugar until you have a fine powder. Add an ice cube and allow the ice cube to melt (Tayebeh prefers to bloom saffron with ice as opposed to boiling water because the resulting colour is more intense) 


Cooking the chicken and sauce:

1. Wash chicken breasts and fillets in cold water and pat dry. Peel & chop the onion into a fine dice. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan, add the onion, then the chicken. Let cook for a few minutes over medium heat adding salt. Sprinkle the turmeric over the chicken and cook for a further few minutes. Turn the chicken pieces and onion until the chicken is golden brown ( add some more oil if the chicken or onion is catching) Add 2 cups of water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until simmering. 

2. In a separate fry pan, add a tablespoon of oil with the tomato paste and fry for two minutes over a low heat this is to develop the colour and flavour of tomato paste. Add ground cardamom & rose water and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add the lemon juice. 

3. Remove from heat and add tomato mixture back to the chicken, along with the cinnamon stick. Season with salt & pepper. Cover with a lid and continue to cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened. 


Creating the “jewels for the rice” :

1. In the meantime, over medium heat melt the butter in a frying pan.Add the washed barberries, saute for a few minutes, be careful not to burn, add the pistachios and 1 teaspoon of bloomed saffron. Remove from heat and set aside.

To serve:

1. Prepare some saffron-coloured rice: Take about a cup of rice from the saucepan and place in a medium bowl. Pour over the bloomed saffron over the rice and mix well. Add a few more spoons of rice from the saucepan to the mortar & pestle. (Tayebeh uses the rice to make sure every skerrick of saffron is added to the rice!)

2. Place the remainder of the plain rice into a serving dish. Decorate with the saffron-coloured rice you just made, barberries and pistachios. Remove the tahdig from the saucepan and serve the crispy potatoes separately.

3. Serve the chicken and sauce on a separate platter and accompany with a fresh salad such as Shirazi salad (a simple salad of finely diced cucumber, tomato, white onion & dried mint with a lemon & olive oil dressing).

You can read more about Free to Feed and what they have to offer on their website. 


Also in Organic Recipes

Chipotle Glazed Ham with Clementine Day
Chipotle Glazed Ham with Clementine Day

by Olivia McCrimmon November 26, 2021 3 min read

Swap out your cloves for a funky, spicy, tangy, sticky glaze for your Christmas Ham this year. Clementine Day of ​Somethings I Like To Cook loves using a chipotle based hot sauce in her glaze. It’s got a nice smokiness to it, but you can go with your favourite hot sauce and it will be just fine.
Porterhouse Roast + Chimichurri with Oliver Hagen
Porterhouse Roast + Chimichurri with Oliver Hagen

by Olivia McCrimmon November 26, 2021 2 min read

Beef roasts can seem a little daunting to cook, but get your hands on a quality piece of meat and a meat thermometer and you're bound to succeed! Our Organic Porterhouse Roast is an absolute family favourite with the Hagen's and we've been lucky enough for Oly to share his recipe. He serves it medium rare and pairs it with a chimichurri dressing and crunchy cos heart salad
Thanksgiving Leftover Sando with Cousin Pat
Thanksgiving Leftover Sando with Cousin Pat

by Olivia McCrimmon November 26, 2021 1 min read

There are two certainties post-Thanksgiving or Christmas, you feel a bit dusty and you have plenty of leftover turkey in the fridge. The best way to tackle that festive hangover is with a Turkey Toastie. With very few ingredients and a tiny bit of time you’ll be well on your way to recovery.