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Persian Roasted Chicken with Dried Cherry-Saffron Rice

Serves 6

1. 1/4 cup Il Molino Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2. 1 onion, finely chopped
3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
5. 6 pounds chicken breasts, thighs and legs, with skin, on the bone
6. Trapani Sea Salt and freshly ground Tellicherry Peppercorns
7. Water
8. 2 cups Saffron Rice
9. 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
10. 1/2 cup Dried Pitted Sour Cherries (4 ounces)
11. 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
12. 1/4 cup slivered Large Roasted Un-Salted Almonds

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine the Il Molino Olive Oil, onion, lemon juice, and cumin. Add the chicken, season with Trapani Sea Salt and freshly ground Tellicherry Peppercorns and turn to coat. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Drain the chicken, scraping off the onion and transfer it to a large metal roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the Saffron Rice and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander and shake out any excess water.
In a small skillet, melt the butter with the Dried Sour Cherries and Brown Sugar. Spoon one third of the Saffron Rice into a buttered 2-quart soufflé dish. Top with half of the Sour Cherries and slivered Un-Salted Almonds. Cover with half of the remaining rice and the remaining Sour Cherries and almonds. Top with a final layer of Saffron Rice and pour any remaining butter on top. Cover the soufflé dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes (while the chicken is baking), or until the rice is tender, light and fluffy.
Preheat the broiler when the rice is done. Broil the chicken, skin side down, for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken and broil until the skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Pour the pan juices into a warm gravy boat. Serve the chicken with the Saffron Rice, passing the pan juices at the table.

Recipe adapted from and photo courtesy of

Products suggested for this recipe:

Saffron Rice
Saffron turns this plain rice into an instant delicacy.
From $2.95

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Il Molino DOP italian extra virgin olive oil 500 ml
Award winning Tuscia extra virgin organic & DOP oil. Great on bruschetta or fresh tomato salad.
From $6.25

Out of Stock
Green, Pink, White, Tellicherry and Szechuan Peppercorns: sold separately or as a mix.
From $4.55

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