Shirin Polo & Chicken Orange Stew

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

Shirin in Farsi means sweet and this rice dish certainly has a good balance of sweet, which marries well with the orange flavours from the syrup and the delectable crunch from the pistachios and almonds.

The rosewater gracefully blends in with the saffron rice scattered on top, cascading down and covering the white rice underneath.

But this rice dish would not be complete without a stew that boldly lives up to the high standards that Shirin Polo brings to the table. The Chicken and Orange stew brings both subtlety and depth to this sweet rice giving it yet a further dimension of flavours to experience and enjoy.


For the stew

1kg chicken

4 oranges (medium size) juiced

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp sugar (granulated)

1/4 tsp saffron

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp  pepper

For the rice

3 cups rice

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp salt

peel of 4 oranges

1 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup pistachio slivers

1/4 cup almond slivers

1/4 tsp saffron

5 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp rose water

For the garnish

1tbsp mixed pistachio and almonds

1tsp rose petals

1 tsp orange peel


Step 1

  • Add the chicken to a large pot

  • Add the fresh orange juice

  • Add the sugar, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper and give it a good mix

  • Allow the chicken to marinate for an hour to absorb the orange and spices added to it

Step 2

  • Place the pot of marinated chicken (still with the juice and spices) over medium heat

  • Allow to slowly simmer until the chicken has cooked through and the stew has reduced slightly

Step 3

For the sweet rice

  • Wash the rice in a large pot and fill half of the it with water

  • Add salt and oil to the water and give it a stir to dissolve the salt

  • Place the pot over high heat

  • Allow the water to boil until the rice becomes par boiled

  • Remove from the heat

  • Drain the water from the rice

  • Set aside

Step 4

  • Take the peel of the 4 oranges you used

  • Add the orange peel to a saucepan

  • Add 1 1/2 cup of water to the orange peel

  • Place over high heat and allow to boil, this process is to remove the bitterness from the peel

  • Boil for 5 minutes

  • Remove all the water from the peel, usually best to use a flour sieve or a small tea strainer

  • Place the orange peel back into the saucepan

  • Add 2 cups of water and the sugar

  • Allow the water to boil again

  • Once boiled reduce the heat to medium

  • Allow the orange syrup to reduce to at least 1 to 1 1/2 cup

  • Remove from the heat

  • Add the pistachios and almonds to the syrup

  • Stir and set aside

Step 5

Note: Before you start this step take 1 cup of rice and put aside and 1/4 cup of the orange syrup with it's peel

  • In a large pot add the oil

  • Add a thin layer of rice at the bottom

  • Drizzle 2 to 3 tbsp of the orange syrup to this layer

  • Add another layer of rice and continue adding the orange syrup to each layer you add

  • Once complete cover the top of your pot and allow the rice to steam for 30 to 45 minutes over low heat

Step 6

  • Dilute the saffron in a small amount about 1/8th a cup of boiling water

  • Place the 1 cup rice you set aside in a bowl

  • Add the saffron to the rice

  • Add the 1/4 cup of orange syrup to the rice

  • Add the rosewater

  • Mix gently until all the saffron, orange syrup and rosewater have mixed well and the rice has turned a lovely saffron colour and is no longer white

  • In a smaller pot add 1 tbsp of oil

  • Add the saffron and orange syrup rice to the pot

  • Place over low heat and allow to steam for 30 to 45 minutes

Step 7

  • After both pots of rice have steamed add the white layered rice to your serving dish

  • Add the saffron, orange syrup and rosewater rice on top of this so it cascades down revealing the white rice underneath

Step 8

For the garnish

  • Sprinkle with rose petals and extra pistachio and almond slivers and any left over orange peel

Shirin Polo with Chicken and Orange Stew
Shirin Polo with Chicken and Orange Stew

Enjoy this beautiful, sweet rice dish with the orange chicken stew. It will be a dish your guests will not only remember but ask for again.

Noosh-e-Jaan :)

156 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All