Monday, November 14, 2011

Persian Fried Chicken




The Valley of the Fairy Chimneys

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is an absolutely wonderful dish that I first sampled while we were in the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys in Turkey. The dish is actually Persian, but I had the good fortune to have a cooking instructor whose husband was Iranian and she often prepared this chicken for him. Working on the assumption that all Americans love fried chicken, she also made the dish for us. Strangely, despite requests, she refused to share her recipe with us. Her rationale was that the dish was Persian and we had come to her kitchen to learn Turkish cooking. Her logic may have been convoluted, but her resolve was a straight as an arrow and she refused to be swayed. After the fact, I realized that her language skills were limited and that while she spoke English, she couldn't write it. Her wonderful recipes had been translated for us by someone else and her refusal was not as arbitrary as I first had thought. I so liked the chicken that I refused to give up on it, and, once home, began to search for something like it. Thanks to Google and The New York Times I've found it and can now share the recipe with you. I think you, too, will love the dish. The chicken is very easy to prepare, but it is a bit pricey and requires some advance planning. The chicken must marinate for several hours before it can be cooked and the marinade contains that costliest of spices, saffron. I promise the wait and cost are worth it, and as long as you don't serve it every week, I think a good case can be made for an occasional caloric splurge. Here's the recipe. Enjoy and hold onto your socks!

Persian Fried Chicken...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of The New York Times

Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon saffron
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon salt, more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Oil for frying
1 cup walnut pieces
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:
1) In a small bowl, combine saffron with 1 tablespoon water and let soak 10 minutes. Place in food processor with yogurt and garlic and purée until smooth and yellow. Place chicken in glass or ceramic bowl; pour yogurt mixture on top, turn to coat; cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, paprika, mint, salt and pepper. Heat a generous half-inch oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Drop in a bit of bread to test temperature; oil should bubble vigorously. Working in batches to avoid crowding, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, then fry until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes a side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3) Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately, topped with walnuts and lemon wedges. Yield: 6 servings.


***The photo of the Fairy Chimneys was taken by Dick Wolfe who traveled with us throughout Turkey. He is a great photographer and an even better companion. Thanks Wolfie :-)***








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46 comments:

Chiara said...

this dish looks so delicious, thanks for sharing such a nice recipe, for sure I'll make this for me and my son, we love chicken in any way..have a good week...

Elin said...

Mary....like this description "her resolve was a straight as an arrow and she refused to be swayed " well, I can imagine how tasty this persian fried chicken is...I will try this out definitely..now is to get the saffron then I can get started :) Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Have a nice day,
Elin

Dzoli said...

Its nice to get different recipes for chicken.This one is sure to taste good with such ingredients:)
LOve the first pic with 'chimneys':)

Priyanka said...

Wonderful Recipe...a very tempting photo

Anna A. said...

wow thanks for sharing - what an interesting story and i have never heard of persian fried chicken before. i saw the chimney faires and thought.. wait a minute.. that is turkey.. lol

Foodycat said...

It sounds delicious! What great seasonings.

Priya said...

Highly irresistible fried chicken,mouthwatering here..

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Yum, this sounds so unique and wonderful! Thanks for your detective work! What would we do without Mr. Google? And I love the picture of the Valley of the Fairies - just the name makes me want to go there!

Debbie said...

This looks delicious and I was immediately intriguied as soon as I saw it! Never heard of this recipe before...

easyfoodsmith said...

Irresistible flavours and nice pics!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Mary, I am such a coward when it comes to frying. Goes back to an incident with the second chicken I fried (37 years ago)... put a liver under the edge of another piece... overcrowded, yep... it POPPED the piece OUT of the skillet... fire broke out... lots of flour thrown to put it out... big mess... well, you get the picture. Seems that little incident ruined me for life on frying... but, I do LOVE to eat it!! Wish I had some of yours! Those are most interesting Fairy Chimneys. blessings ~ tanna

Rosemary said...

Your resolve was pretty firm, too! I'm guessing that it really must be that good to make you persevere so> Lucky for us you did and are sharing this dish. I'll try and keep my socks on.

From the Kitchen said...

This looks and sounds do delicious it has to be from "southern" Persia!! = ) I do happen to have a smidgen of saffron in the cabinet. It's nice to have a recipe from that area without a very long list of herbs and spices. First I'm going over to give Tanna the courage to fry again. After 37 years, it's time.

Best,
Bonnie

Rita said...

Really enjoyed rading your experience in Turkey. This sounds wonderful; those walnuts must add a special taste to this chicken dish. I did buy some saffron while at that littl4 spice shop in Montreal... What would we do without Google? Merci.
Rita

That Girl said...

Your cooking instructor sounds like quite the character!

Lora said...

I admire your recipe fortitude! This looks so flavorful and delicious. Well worth the extra steps it took for you to creatie it.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This looks so good. I love how it is different than typical fried chicken. Have a great day!

Manju said...

This looks amazing. I'd love to have that chicken right now :) thanks for sharing.

Regards,
Manju
Http://manjuseatingdelights.blogspot.com

June said...

Oh my goodness. I have a secret stash of saffron and now I know where it's going! Thanks for my daily chuckle too.

Big Dude said...

It looks super good.

Emily Malloy said...

Ooooh! This is fabulous.

David said...

Mary, I love good fried chicken and this recipe not only sounds great, albeit a bit different, but the end result looks terrific! Thanks for the recipe... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

From the Kitchen said...

Mary: The new library is scheduled for completion in early fall but, right now, construction is ahead of schedule. We are currently having a real downpour but the workers were working inside when I drove by a bit ago.

Best,
Bonnie

laurie said...

I love this photo is amazing, the food and the fairy rocks, this is a very exotic dish, I would love to try this, we love turkish food, thankyou so much for visiting, have a great monday!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

The picture is amazing - and the recipe sounds fantastic! really delicious and I'm looking forward to making this for the family :)
Mary x

Benedetta Marchi said...

Nice to meet you!Also your blog it's fantastic! I'll come back soon!
Benedetta

Silver Strands said...

The dish looks as good as the story that goes along with it! You write so well ... not sure which I come to you for - the food or the words!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love any and all fried chicken.

Ratita Golosa said...

Qué bueno este pollo así frito. Tiene que estar riquísimo. Te copio la receta y te sigo!
Besos!

Nicole said...

I'm glad you were able to find the recipe -- it definitely looks worth searching for. I'm sure that had I been in the same position, I wouldn't have given up on it either!

sweetcarolinescooking.com said...

I can see why it's pricey to make because of the saffron, but it sounds way worth the money. This dish looks fabulous, and what a cool experience! Hope you're having a great day, Mary. x

Joanne said...

What a funny lady. I love the spices in this so much more than those in American fried chicken!

Ann said...

I had Nepalese friends and they taught me to make the MoMo.

Anne@frommysweetheart said...

Mary...your photos are lovely and this chicken looks and sounds quite special. I bet marinating it in the yogurt mix keeps it nice and moist. Great tip about dropping a piece of bread to test the heat of the oil! : )

JasmyneTea said...

I've never really fried chicken before, but I love the sound of the flavours. It's coming onto summer here, so I think it would be great for dinner paired with a salad :)

Claudia said...

Is there really such a place as "The Valley of the Fairy Chimneys?" I am enchanted. I never do fried chicken - but if it came from that place - even circuitously - I must do it. I even saffron - because I'm always afraid to use it!

Claudia said...

Mary, you just gave me my belly laugh for the night with your comment. Italians are not... shy. I won't expand. Meanwhile, I think this is the perfect "welcome home from Italy" for husband next weekend. I suspect he won't be looking for pasta!

Ann said...

The recipe looks delicious - thanks for not giving up! How lovely that you were able to travel and have cooking lessons in such an exotic place!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Your photo of the chicken is mouthwatering. I have a little bit of saffron and this is just the excuse I need to use it!

Astra Libris said...

I love the story of this beautiful recipe! (and I especially love your photo of the "chimneys...")

Lynda said...

The chicken sounds wonderful Mary; I am one of those americans that is a sucker for fried chicken.
Your photo of the fairy chimneys was great!

Victor said...

It is great to have friends that are different ethnicity from you, you learn so much on how the food is cooked. I learned that quite a lot with my friends.

Persian-style fried chicken looks so flavourful. Mint in fried chicken, that's something exploring. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

Amalia said...

That lady reminds me of my father, "Never give out your recipes!" Haha...this sounds fantastic though. I think it's totally worth the cost, I mean it's food, come on. This looks like a stellar recipe :)

What's next said...

I have had this while living in Iran and am so excited to try it myself! should I give you the list of the other foods I loved while I was there for you to figure out also??? Thanks for sharing this!

Trix said...

I adore this flavor profile - the saffron, mint, paprika ... a must-try!

Jenn said...

Oh, Mary, that does look tasty! And I love that you never gave up on finding the recipe!!

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