Persian-Style Chicken & Crispy Rice with Summer Squash, Currants, & Lemon Yogurt

Persian-Style Chicken & Crispy Rice

with Summer Squash, Currants, & Lemon Yogurt

55 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This dish starts with a sauté of chicken and vegetables, including tender summer squash (yours may be grey or green zucchini, or yellow squash). For authentic Persian flavor, we're cooking it all with crunchy almonds and traditional warming spices like cardamom and turmeric. Baking some of our cooked rice before mixing it back in—along with lemon-seasoned currants—creates delicious layers of texture.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    760 Cals (est.)
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Persian-Style Chicken & Crispy Rice with Summer Squash, Currants, & Lemon Yogurt
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tips & techniques
Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

Preheat the oven to 475ºF. In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Transfer half the cooked rice to a sheet pan; spread into an even layer. Set the remaining cooked rice aside in a warm place.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Quarter the squash lengthwise; cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Roughly chop the almonds. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Place the currants in a bowl; top with the juice of 2 lemon wedges.

Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and the spice blend; toss to coat. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the vegetables & finish the chicken:
4 Cook the vegetables & finish the chicken:

Add the butter to the pan of reserved fond and heat on medium-high until melted. Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add the squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Add the almonds, cooked chicken, and half the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake & finish the rice:
5 Bake & finish the rice:

While the vegetables cook, drizzle the sheet pan of cooked rice with olive oil. Bake, stirring halfway through, 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes. Carefully transfer to the pot of remaining cooked rice. Stir in the currants (including any liquid). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the lemon yogurt & plate your dish:
6 Make the lemon yogurt & plate your dish:

While the rice bakes, in a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, yogurt, the juice of the remaining lemon wedges, and 1 teaspoon of water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished rice between 2 dishes and top with the finished chicken and vegetables. Top with spoonfuls of the lemon yogurt. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve with the remaining lemon yogurt on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook the rice:
1 Cook the rice:

Preheat the oven to 475ºF. In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Transfer half the cooked rice to a sheet pan; spread into an even layer. Set the remaining cooked rice aside in a warm place.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Quarter the squash lengthwise; cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Roughly chop the almonds. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Place the currants in a bowl; top with the juice of 2 lemon wedges.

Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and the spice blend; toss to coat. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

4 Cook the vegetables & finish the chicken:

Add the butter to the pan of reserved fond and heat on medium-high until melted. Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Add the squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Add the almonds, cooked chicken, and half the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the vegetables & finish the chicken:
Bake & finish the rice:
5 Bake & finish the rice:

While the vegetables cook, drizzle the sheet pan of cooked rice with olive oil. Bake, stirring halfway through, 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes. Carefully transfer to the pot of remaining cooked rice. Stir in the currants (including any liquid). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the lemon yogurt & plate your dish:

While the rice bakes, in a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, yogurt, the juice of the remaining lemon wedges, and 1 teaspoon of water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished rice between 2 dishes and top with the finished chicken and vegetables. Top with spoonfuls of the lemon yogurt. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve with the remaining lemon yogurt on the side. Enjoy!

Make the lemon yogurt & plate your dish:
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