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Persian Saffron and Fennel Chicken Stew

Persian Saffron and Fennel Chicken Stew

The light and slightly sweet flavors of the Persian Chicken stew make a great pairing with a semi-sweet white wine from Bordeaux.

Course Main Course, Main Dishes and Wine Pairings
Cuisine Middle East
Keyword Saffron and Fennel Chicken Stew


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 generous pinch saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • kosher sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, ends trimmed and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. In a large dutch oven like Le Creuset, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent and slightly golden, about 7-10 minutes. Add the chicken breasts, turning to coat them in the onion mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is turning golden in color.

  2. Grind the saffron between your fingers as you sprinkle it over the chicken. Stir to mix. Then add the cumin, cinnamon, orange juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

  3. Pour enough boiling water over the chicken to just cover the chicken. Add the fennel and honey. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce the temperature to low, and simmer for 1 hour, after 30 minutes stir the pot to prevent sticking on the bottom.

  4. Soak the raisins in the lemon juice.

  5. After 1 hour, stir in the raisins with the lemon juice and continue to cook covered for 1 more hour.

  6. Serve with basmati rice and a glass of semi-sweet white Bordeaux wine.