Shireen Polo Zoom

Shireen Polo

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Polo is a dish characteristic of Iran. Based with rice, polo is a casserole with steamed rice and an assortment of vegetables, poultry, meat, and nuts. This recipe combines orange, pistachio, chicken, and rice for a dish with complex and surprising flavors.

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Details

Shiren Polo
Serves 4-6

The peel of 2 oranges, cut into strips 1 inch long and 1/8 inch wide
8 tablespoons (1 quarter-pound stick) butter
3 medium-sized carrots, cut into strips and about 1 inch long and 1/8 inch wide
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground saffron (or 1 teaspoon saffron threads, pulverized with a mortar and pestle), dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted pistachios
2 cups imported Iranian rice or other uncooked long-grain rice, soaked and drained
1/4 cup olive oil
A 2 1/2- to 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups water
1 large onion
4 tablespoons melted butter combined with 1 tablespoon water

1. Blanch the orange peel by dropping it into a small pan of cold water, bringing it to a boil, then draining it immediately an running cold water over it.
2. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the carrots and, stirring frequently, cook for 10 minutes, or until they are soft but not brown. Add the orange peel, almonds, sugar, and saffron, and reduce heat to low. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, then cover tightly and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the 1/4 cup of pistachios and cook for 2 or 3 minutes longer. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy 3- to 4- quart casserole with a tightly fitting lid. Pour in the rice in a slow, thin stream. Stir once or twice, boil briskly for 5 minutes, then drain in a sieve. 
4. In a heavy 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil until a light haze forms above it. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and brown it in the oil, a few pieces at a time, turning it with tongs and regulating the heat so that they color richly and evenly without burning. As they brown, transfer the pieces to a plate. Pour off and discard the fat remaining in the skillet and replace the chicken in the pan. Sprinkle the pieces with the salt and scatter the onion quarters on top. Pour in the 5 cups of water, bring to a boil over high heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
5. While the chicken is simmering, pour the melted butter and water mixture into the casserole and spread half of the rice evenly over it. Add 2 cups of the carrot mixture on top. Cover tightly and steam for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
6. To serve, remove the bones from the chicken breasts and thighs. Spread half the rice on a heated platter and arrange the chicken over it. Mound the rest of the rice on top and sprinkle it with the remaining pistachios.

Additional Information

Additional Information

SKU shireen polo

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