Morgh-e Torsh (Chicken Stew with Green Herbs & Citrus)


This delicious chicken stew is traditionally made with sour oranges, which are prolific in Iran--if you find them, use the juice of two in place of the citrus called for here. Serve with rice to pair with the flavorful spinach sauce. Read more about this recipe.

Chicken Stew with Green Herbs & Citrus (Morgh-e Torsh)
Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Prep Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
6 servings


  • 3 cups water

  • ½ cup yellow split peas, rinsed

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper, divided

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 cups packed fresh parsley

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 8 cups spinach, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons dried mint

  • Juice of 1 orange, 2 lemons & 2 limes

  • 2 large eggs


  1. Combine water and split peas in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until just tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.

  2. Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon each pepper and salt with turmeric in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with the spice mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. Combine cilantro, parsley, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the split peas in a food processor. Process until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

  4. Add spinach and mint to the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is completely wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid and cook, scraping up any browned bits, for 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro mixture along with the remaining split peas, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Nestle the chicken into the sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add orange, lemon and lime juices to the sauce. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the sauce to the eggs and whisk until well combined. Return the egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until hot, about 5 minutes more.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

418 Calories
21g Fat
20g Carbs
37g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1 chicken thigh & 3/4 cup sauce
Calories 418
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 37g 74%
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 216mg 72%
Vitamin A 6187IU 124%
Vitamin C 54mg 60%
Folate 140mcg 35%
Sodium 685mg 30%
Calcium 123mg 9%
Iron 6mg 32%
Magnesium 104mg 25%
Potassium 988mg 21%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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