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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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Soak the raisins in the lemon juice.
  • After 1 hour, stir in the raisins with the lemon juice and continue to cook covered for 1 more hour.
  • Serve with basmati rice and a glass of semi-sweet white Bordeaux wine.