Chicken Stew with Green Herbs & Citrus (Morgh-e Torsh)
I learned to cook this recipe in Rasht, the capital city of Gilan Province. As happened to me often in Iran, when my tour guide Sharare found out I was interested in food, she invited me home to cook with her mom. In their small kitchen we prepared this stew. It’s traditionally made with sour oranges, which are prolific in Iran—if you find them, use the juice of two in place of the citrus called for here.
3 cups water
1/2 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
11/2 teaspoons ground pepper, divided
11/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 cups packed fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic
8 cups spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons dried mint
Juice of 1 orange, 2 lemons & 2 limes 2 large eggs
1. Combine water and split peas in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until just tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.
2. Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon each pepper and salt with turmeric in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with the spice mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Combine cilantro, parsley, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the split peas in a food processor. Process until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
4. Add spinach and mint to the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is completely wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid and cook, scraping up any browned bits, for 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro mixture along with the remaining split peas, ½ teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Nestle the chicken into the sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add orange, lemon and lime juices to the sauce. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the sauce to the eggs and whisk until well combined. Return the egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until hot, about 5 minutes more.
SERVES 6: 1 chicken thigh & ½ cup sauce each
CAL 418 / FAT 21G (SAT 5G) / CHOL 216MG / CARBS 20G / TOTAL SUGARS 3G (ADDED 0G) / PROTEIN 37G / FIBER 7G / SODIUM 685MG / POTASSIUM 988MG.