Recipe: Orange Chicken Koresh

by Celeste Heiter, Nov 28, 2009 | Destinations: Iran
Orange Chicken Koresh

Orange Chicken Koresh

Orange Chicken Koresh

This recipe is excerpted from Laura Kelley's cookbook, The Silk Road Gourmet. "Orange and chicken with hints of lime, almonds, and pistachios are some of the incredible combination flavors you'll experience in this dish. It is really delicious, rich, and complex-the orange blends beautifully with the sweet nutmeg and cardamom, while the vinegar and lime powder balance this with a hint of sourness. All in all, an excellent introduction to Iranian cuisine."

Orange- Chicken Koresh 

3 medium-large chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons light sesame or peanut oil
2 large onions, peeled, sliced, and separated into crescents
2 tablespoons orange zest, finely chopped
1 ½ cups orange juice (4-5 oranges)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Persian lime powder
2 medium carrots, julienned or matchsticked
3 teaspoons slivered almonds
2 teaspoons chopped pistachio nuts
3 medium oranges, peeled, cleaned, and separated into segments
2 tablespoons white vinegar
¼ cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved into 2 tablespoons of hot water

Heat oil in a deep saucepan and sauté chicken over high heat until it becomes firm and starts to color-the point being to sear the meat but not completely cook it. When done, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Lower heat to medium and add the sliced onions and cook until they soften and start to color.

When the onions are done, add the orange zest and stir well. Add the chicken back into the pan along with any juices that have collected. Then add the orange juice and bring to a near boil. Then add the cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, and Persian lime powder and lower heat and cook covered for 20- 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until chicken starts to become tender.

Combine the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and saffron water in a medium saucepan and heat for 10 minutes or so until hot. Then remove from heat and add orange segments and stir well. Set aside until needed.

Next, add the julienned carrots, slivered almonds, and chopped pistachios to the chicken mixture and cook for another 15 minutes or so. When done, remove from heat and pour in lime juice mixture used to soak orange segments and stir. Then add orange segments to the stew and stir again.