Pulled Persian chicken

A rich and spicy slow-cooked chicken dish.

This year I cooked an alternative Christmas dinner for a group of friends, a Persian feast (you can read all about my Friendsmas by clicking here, as well as seeing the full menu)! It was inspired by a Persian Street Food stall that I visited at a Food Festival earlier this year. I knew that I wanted to cook some kind of shredded chicken dish, with lots of rich flavours, but I couldn’t find a recipe anywhere that seemed to be the sort of thing that I was looking for, so I bit the bullet and made one up! I was pleased with how this came out (just as well as I hadn’t had time to test it out before the dinner party!). It had a depth of flavour, a good level of spice, and the chicken just fell apart after slow-cooking it. We served this with cranberry and saffron pilaf, crushed carrots, and a baby leaf salad with fresh figs and walnuts.

There are a couple of more unusual ingredients here- I have become really interested in Middle-Eastern flavours in cooking recently to these things have now become staples in my cupboards but for this dinner I found that I couldn’t get what I wanted in either Aldi or Morrisons. We got our pomegranate molasses in Waitrose this time, but I have also seen them in Sainsburys, Tescos and Holland and Barratt before, and I think most places would stock ras el hanout, but we again got ours in Waitrose, and have found it in Sainsburys before.

I was asked if I would like to host a dinner party by Sonos, we already had some of their amazing wireless speakers and they sent us a Play:3 (click here to see) so that we could listen to all of the songs chosen by our guests for our Playlist Potluck! It was so fun having the input of all of our guests into the music choices for the night!

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My Recipe

Serves: 8
Syns: 1.5 syns per portion
Healthy Extra:

Ingredients

  • 4 small or 2 large onions
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 8 tsp ras el hanout spice mix
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinammon
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (see note above about availability)
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 8 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate (to serve)
  • fresh coriander (to serve)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160c
  2. Using a food processor or mini blender, whizz together the peeled onions and garlic cloves to form (almost) a paste
  3. Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a large casserole dish, and add in the blended onions and garlic. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in all of the spices (ras el hanout, cumin, chilli, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric,) and stir through the onion.
  5. Add in the chicken breasts, coating them thoroughly in the spice paste, add in the tomato puree and pomegranate molasses and stir again.
  6. Pour in the chicken stock, stir well, cover with a lid, and transfer to the oven for 2 hours and 45 minutes
  7. Remove from the oven, and using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Place back on the heat on top of the cooker, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
  8. Pour in the fresh lime juice, stir again, and then serve sprinkled with the fresh pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander

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