TahChin e Morgh, also known as Chicken Tahchin, is an exquisite centuries-old Persian dish that not only delights the taste buds but also captivates with its stunning presentation, resembling a beautifully decorated cake. This saffron-infused rice casserole, enriched with flavors from yogurt, chicken, and aromatic spices, is a true treat for the senses. The name “Tahchin” originates from the Persian words “tah” (bottom) and “chin” (to place or layer), alluding to the delightful layering of ingredients that creates this culinary masterpiece. The beauty of “TahChin é Morgh” lies in its versatility, allowing you to experiment with different ingredients and variations to create unique looks and tastes.
Preparing the Basmati Rice
To begin this delectable journey, it is ideal to soak the Basmati rice, which not only removes excess starch but also allows the rice to expand beautifully during cooking. If time is limited, soak the rice for at least 15 minutes. Place the measured rice in a larger bowl, cover it with tap water, and repeat the process a few times to achieve the desired result.
Infusing Flavor into the Chicken
While the chicken can be cooked in a flavorful broth and spices, an alternative method involves sautéing the chicken with onions and a dash of turmeric for an added burst of flavor. This aromatic touch enhances the taste and aroma of the dish, creating a mouthwatering experience for your taste buds.
Enhancing the Rice with Dried Barberries
A delightful twist in this recipe involves soaking dried barberries in hot water with a touch of rosewater, butter, and sugar. This infusion of flavors adds a tantalizing essence to the rice, elevating the overall taste and aroma of the dish to new heights.
Creative Variations for Your Culinary Masterpiece
The beauty of TahChin e Morgh lies in its adaptability. Explore various ways to customize and transform the appearance and taste of this exquisite dish:
Decorative Outer Layer: Some prefer to mix yogurt and eggs with only a portion of the rice, using it to create an outer layer that molds the dish into a cake-like appearance. This artistic touch adds visual appeal to the dish.
Incorporating Barberries: Depending on your preference, you can use barberries as a decorative element, or incorporate them into the rice for a delightful burst of sweet-tart flavors.
Stunning Layered Presentation: Experiment with layering techniques, using saffron-infused yogurt for the outer layer and plain yogurt and rice for the interior, with succulent pieces of chicken nestled in between. This results in a visually stunning creation of yellow and white layers that is sure to impress.
A Canvas for Your Culinary Creativity
TahChin e Morgh is not just a recipe; it is a canvas for your culinary creativity. Each time you prepare this dish, unleash your imagination and explore unique combinations of flavors and presentations. Transform it into an entirely new culinary creation, making it an exciting adventure for your taste buds and a delightful surprise for your guests.
In the world of Persian cuisine, TahChin e Morgh stands as an emblem of culinary artistry, combining the allure of saffron with the comforting flavors of rice, chicken, and yogurt. Embrace the possibilities, embrace your creativity, and immerse yourself in the magic of TahChin e Morgh, a dish that celebrates both the senses and the spirit of culinary exploration.
TahChin e Morgh: A Heavenly Saffron Rice Casserole
TahChin e Morgh, or Chicken TahChin, is a delightful Persian dish that goes beyond being just a recipe; it becomes an expression of culinary artistry. This saffron-infused rice bake offers a mesmerizing presentation, resembling a cake adorned with red barberries and almonds. The versatile nature of this dish allows for various adaptations, making it a canvas for creativity. From soaking Basmati rice to sautéing chicken with aromatic spices, the possibilities to elevate flavors are endless. Customize the layers, incorporate barberries, and experiment with yogurt variations to achieve stunning, unique presentations. TahChin e Morgh invites you to embark on a culinary adventure, celebrating the allure of saffron and the magic of culinary exploration in every bite.
Measure 3 cups of Basmati rice and soak it in water, rinse it a few times and then let it soak.
In a large pot boil water and add a bit of salt before draining the soaked rice and adding it to the boiling water. Let it cook for about 6-8 minutes or until the rice rises to the top of the water. Drain the rice and rinse it with cold tap water.
Chop the onions and sauté the chicken breast with the onion adding the turmeric, ginger and black pepper. Then add the broth and cover the pot and let it cook slowly so it soaks the flavors and become tender. Once most of the liquid is gone you are ready to assemble. Take a large Pyrex dish and butter it.
Then bloom the saffron in some hot water. I do this by putting in a small coffee demitasse and after adding the hot water to put the plate on top so the saffron infuses the water.
In a pot add hot water to the red barberries let it soak for 10 minutes and add the butter and the rose water and heat it up on low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed but be careful so it does not burn. Use more than half in the rice and keep some for the decorations on top.
In a bowl add the yogurt, eggs and the saffron and the salt. and mix it well. I also let the butter get soft in room temperature and mix it with the wet ingredient. In a bowl or the pot add wet ingredients to the rice. Then start layering the bowl first build a 1/2 in thick layer as a bowl add a bit more to the bottom and then layer the chicken and cover it with the rest of the rice. Bake it in the oven covered by a piece of foil. Cover it lightly so some of the steam escapes but enough to keep the steam to cook it thoroughly. Bake it for 60 minutes at 375º.
After it is done, let it cool for a little which place a large plate on top of the bowl and turn it over. You should get it out of the bowl looking like a cake. Then you can decorate it with the rest of the red barberries.