Persian Layered Chicken and Rice with Yogurt (Tachin Joojeh)
A festive chicken and rice casserole with caramelized onions. Worthy of a special occasion. Serve with garlicky yogurt sauce on the side.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
- Yield: 6
- Category: Festive Main Course
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: Iranian
- Yogurt Sauce
- 2 cups plain yogurt, whole milk or low-fat
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled mint or basil to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Chicken and Onions
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 large onions, halved and sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided, see instructions)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided, see instructions)
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2-quart glass (see-through) casserole
- 2 cups long grain Basmati rice, swished with water and drained 6 or 7 times
- 2 egg yolks (whites are not needed for this recipe)
- 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads crushed with 1/4 teaspoon salt with a mortar and pestle or with the curved back of a fork.
- 2 teaspoons salt (divided – see instructions)
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons barberries (or substitute currants)
- some olive oil to sauté the barberries
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Yogurt Sauce In a medium bowl mix yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Sprinkle mint or basil on top (optional) Keep in fridge until ready to serve.
- Chicken and onions Season chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add chicken – it should sizzle – and cook 6 minutes per side, or until no longer pink. (It will be golden brown on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside) Remove from heat, cut into bite-sized cubes and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6-7 minutes over medium heat until onions soften and turn golden brown. Mix with cubed chicken and set aside.
- Tachin: step one Put rinsed rice and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook, covered, for 7 minutes. Pour into a strainer, drain, rinse with cold water to stop cooking and set aside.
- Tachin: step two Whisk egg yolks, yogurt, saffron, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Add half the cooked, drained rice, mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Tachin: step three Swirl melted butter and olive oil in the 2-quart casserole to coat bottom and sides. Add yogurt & rice mixture and smooth it out into an even layer with the back of a spoon. Add chicken and onion mixture next, making an even layer. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the remaining plain white rice, stir to combine and add to top of casserole, pressing it down gently. Cover casserole with lid or a double layer of foil and bake in the lower third of preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until a light brown crust forms on the bottom. Remove from oven. Carefully flip casserole upside down onto a platter. Cover the top with a clean dish cloth while you give the Barberries a 1 minute stir in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Toss them on top of the Tachin to garnish. Cut Tachin into six servings and enjoy with yogurt sauce on the side.
[Originally published November 2012. Updated September 2018 with a video, some new photos, added nutritional information, a few tweaks to the written post and double the onion in the recipe.]
Nutrition Information shown is an estimate calculated by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.
Keywords: Chicken, Rice, Casserole, Recipe