Pulled Persian-style chicken


A rich and spicy slow-cooked chicken dish infused with warming spices

20 mins

2 hour 45 mins

342 kcals

serves 8



I cooked this dish as an alternative Christmas dinner for a group of friends, a Persian-style feast! It was inspired by a Persian street food stall that had I visited at a Food Festival. 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 with harissa and pistachios, 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.

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Pulled Persian-style chicken

  • Author: Pip Payne
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Low Fat


A rich and spicy slow-cooked chicken dish.

Syns: 1.5 per portion


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


  1. Preheat oven to 160°c (fan assisted).
  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, season with salt and pepper, 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.


If you would like to make this in the slow cooker, follow steps 2-5 (frying the onion, spices and chicken), and then transfer to the slow cooker pot before adding the tomato puree, pomegranate molasses, chicken stock and seasoning. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 6-8 hours. If you have excessive liquid in the pot after shredding the chicken, then either place it in a pan on the hob and simmer until it has evaporated and absorbed into the chicken before adding the fresh lime juice.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Category: Persian-style
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Persian

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