Iranian chicken timbale recipe

Let’s prepare Tahchin, a typical Iranian recipe which consists of a particular rice timbale with saffron chicken.

You have certainly heard of it, but many of you – probably – have never had the opportunity to taste it in its borders of origins. The recipe of Tahchin Morgh is that of a particular ethnic dish, one of the leading products of the cuisine of Iran. Consists of a particular timbale composed of a mix of flavors, very different from each other and distributed in two parts with different textures: a thinner one made of chicken fillets with saffron and one of rice. The typical Iranian dish is conveniently cooked in a pot, where an inviting crust forms in the upper part of the timbale.

Tahchin recipe
Tahchin recipe

Preparation of the recipe for the Tahchin

  1. First, pour 100 ml of water into a saucepan and heat it. Then, pour in 1 sachet of saffron and mix to make it melt.
  2. Take a saucepan and place 20 g of butter on the bottom. Melt over the heat, then put the chicken pieces inside, washed and cleaned.
  3. Chop two cloves of garlic and add them to the meat, along with a pinch of salt and half of the saffron-water mixture. Turn from time to time to obtain a homogeneous browning. Leave cook for 45 minutes.
  4. Once cooked, remove and set aside the chicken pieces. Collect the sauce, which has been created, in a container and put it in the fridge.
  5. In a large bowl, beat 1 egg. Also add the yogurt and the other half of the mixture of water and saffron.
  6. Stir and put the chicken pieces inside. Leave marinate for a few hours.
  7. After this time, fill a pot with water and salt it. Cook the Basmati rice inside for the time indicated on the package (about 18 minutes). Drain it al dente.
  8. Take a clean non-stick pan and pour 1 sachet of saffron, a large glass of water (250 ml) and 150 g of butter. Put on the fire and let it melt for a few minutes.
  9. Take the chicken sauce, previously placed in the fridge.
  10. Fill the pot alternating layers of rice with layers of chicken (marinated with yogurt) and layers of the sauce.
  11. Cover with a tea towel taut (so as not to let it adhere to the contents) and, on top, put the lid. Let it cook over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes.
  12. At the end of cooking, let the product cool in the container for 10 minutes, in order to allow the crust to detach from the bottom.
  13. To garnish, wash the Berberis berries. In a saucepan, melt 20 g of butter over the heat.
  14. Pour the berries and sugar. Let it brown until the sugar dissolves, then switch off and let it cool.
  15. Uncover the pot with the timbale and place a large plate on top. Turn the pot upside down and drop the Tahchin onto the plate.
  16. Cover the surface with the garnish and serve.

With the same procedure and the same ingredients and flavors, you can make the Persian rice and lamb timbale. Known as Tah chin-e barrehthis particular product is made by simply replacing the chicken with chunks of lamb meat, such as leg or shoulder.


The original recipe of this particular timbale belonging to Persian gastronomy is full of flavors and must be tried at least once. If you have a certain amount left over, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

From Persian culture we have collected another unmissable preparation, that of the Persian love cake.

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