Khorak Morgh is a delicious tomato-based Persian chicken stew with vegetables like carrots, green beans and potatoes. This dish is normally served with bread. Khorak and khoresht are both called stew, but khorak contains potatoes and is usually served with bread, whereas khoresht is made without potatoes and is served over rice. This stew can also be made vegetarian, with beef or chicken breast for a healthier version. Saffron can greatly enhance the color and aroma of this dish. However, if you don’t want to use saffron, a trick to give this dish the yellowish-orange saffron color is to fry the tomato paste in oil for few minutes to develop a deeper and richer color and flavor before adding other ingredients. You can also use turmeric but there is no substitute for saffron.
Khorak Morgh (Persian Chicken Stew)
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: 6 servings
6 large chicken thighs, washed and drained
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
5 tablespoons oil
6 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground saffron
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups water
1 pound frozen cut green beans
5 small carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (2 cups diced)
3 medium potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (2 cups diced)
Heat oil in a deep nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add chopped onions. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until onions are slightly golden. Stir in tomato paste and chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add water; Cover, bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low; cook for 15 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, saffron, lemon juice and the remaining tomato paste; stir to combine. Layer green beans and carrots on top of the chickens; do not mix. Cover; cook for 20 minutes.
When the vegetables are almost cooked, add potatoes; cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.