Saffron Chicken

This traditional saffron chicken recipe comes from Iran and is simple to make. Because of the bright and full flavors, serve alongside simple rice and a salad.


  • 4 Whole Chicken Leg Quarters Bone-in Skin-on
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Bloomed Saffron
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Sweet Onion Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Water


  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pat dry chicken legs and sprinkle salt on both sides. 
  • Place the chicken legs, skin side down in the pan and sear until the skin is golden and the fat is rendered. 
  • Add in one tablespoon bloomed saffron to the pan, shake the pan so the saffron spreads on the skin on the chicken. 
  • Turn the chicken legs and sear the other side for seven to eight minutes until golden. 
  • Transfer the chicken legs to a plate and cover. Discard the fat. 
  • In the same pan, heat the olive oil. Once shimmery and ready, saute sliced until until translucent and golden on the edges. 
  • Add in green bell pepper and saute for another minute. 
  • Add in turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. Cook for another five minutes. 
  • Place the chicken legs on the onion and pepper mixture. 
  • Add in Water and turn the heat to high. 
  • Bring it to simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes, until the chicken is almost cooked. 
  • Add in the rest of bloomed saffron. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. 
  • Serve with Persian rice or plain rice.