Rating: 3.5 stars
3 Ratings
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  • 3 star values: 2
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  • 1 star values: 0

This easy Persian-inspired chicken and rice dish has a beautiful golden color and a wonderful fragrance. If you have saffron in the cupboard, do add that optional pinch; just a little will enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish.

Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Spring 2019


Recipe Summary

50 mins
1 hr 35 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat two 8-inch-square baking dishes or foil pans with cooking spray (see Tip).

  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 chicken thighs, and cook, turning once, until both sides are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken thighs. Pour off all but about 1 Tbsp. fat from the pan.

  • Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and onions to the pan and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until soft and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in garlic, turmeric, paprika, and saffron, if using; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate and set aside.

  • Return the pan to medium-high heat and add cabbage. Cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice, lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and half of the reserved onion. Continue cooking until the rice is well coated and heated through, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Divide the rice mixture between the prepared baking dishes; nestle 4 of the reserved chicken thighs in each dish. Top each with half of the remaining cooked onions. Cover both dishes with foil. Label one and freeze for up to 1 month.

  • Bake the remaining casserole, covered, for 30 minutes.

  • Uncover and continue baking until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees F and the onions are starting to brown around the edges, 5 to 10 minutes more. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices, if desired.


Tip: Instead of freezing half, you can bake the full recipe in a 9x13-inch baking pan. In Step 6, bake, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.

To make ahead: This double-batch recipe makes one meal for tonight and one to freeze for up to 1 month (see Step 5). To cook from frozen: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed in Steps 6-7, adding an additional 10 minutes baking time once uncovered.

Equipment: Two 8-inch-square baking dishes or foil pans

Nutrition Facts

1 thigh and 1 cup rice mixture
274 calories; protein 17g; carbohydrates 29.4g; dietary fiber 3.3g; sugars 2.7g; fat 9.7g; saturated fat 2.2g; cholesterol 49.5mg; vitamin a iu 202.7IU; vitamin c 15.7mg; folate 28mcg; calcium 39.1mg; iron 1.9mg; magnesium 63.8mg; potassium 307.5mg; sodium 194.5mg.