Persian Lima Bean Rice with Chicken and Dill
This Persian recipe has something for everyone and is a fragrant twist on rice, beans and chicken. The delicacy of the dill and the crunch of the slightly saffron tasting tahdig, or ‘bottom of the pot’ make a big flavor impression.
Cook time: 1hr 45min
Total: 3hr 55min
2½ cups basmati rice
4 cups water
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds chicken legs and thighs, skin removed, bone in
4 pinches black pepper, freshly ground
12 ounces (340 grams) lima beans, frozen
3 tablespoons yogurt, full fat
6 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted, divided
½ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup boiling water
1 bunch dill, chopped
- Soak the rice in 4 cups of water with ½ teaspoon salt for 2 hours.
- Season the chicken with pepper. Brown the chicken over medium heat in a large skillet. Set aside.
- Heat a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Drain the soaked rice and parboil it in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Add the lima beans and cook 2 to 3 minutes more until rice is softened but still chewy.
- Drain the rice and lima beans.
- Combine ½ cup of the cooked rice and lima mixture in a bowl with yogurt and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter.
- Combine saffron threads with ¼ cup boiling water. Add to the rice and yogurt mixture.
- Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the rice and saffron yogurt mixture in a thin layer at the bottom of the pot.
- Layer ¼ of the rice over the rice and saffron yogurt mixture in the pot.
- Add ⅓ of the chicken over the rice and cover with ¼ of the chopped dill. Add pinch of freshly ground pepper
- Repeat step 10, two more times.
- Add the final ¼ of the rice on top with the remaining dill.
- Insert a knife into the pot vertically, turning it to create a vent to bring steam from the bottom to the top. Do this twice more.
- Combine the final 3 tablespoons of melted butter with a ⅓ cup hot water.
- Pour over the top of the rice, distributing it evenly. Cover pot lid with a tea towel and bring the ends tightly over the top of the lid.
- Place lid on the cloth-covered pot to seal in the steam.
- Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour or until the chicken begins to fall away from the bone.
- Mound the rice and chicken onto a platter. Scrape the crunchy rice called ‘tahdeeg’ from the bottom and serve on a separate platter on the side.