Roasted Saffron Chicken with Dried Fruits

Let’s just start by saying this is not my “Mother-In-Laws” chicken recipe! Roasting the perfect chicken, so your future in-laws approve, is like perfecting the apple pie or nailing the meatloaf in my culture… “NO CHICKEN… NO HUSBAND!” This is a recipe that has been passed down through the generations but you have to put your own spin on it. My mom, Haideh stuffed it with saffron rice and barberries ( I like using currants and toasted pine nuts instead, more accessible) additionally I surround it with dried apricots, prunes and root vegetables for added texture and a ton of flavor.

My favorite thing to do with this dish is take the left-overs and make everything from a chicken sandwich with some brie cheese and pear slices to delicous enchiladas or a chciken pot pie. Having a roasted chicken in the house once a week is a must! The left-over possibilites are endless… Share with me your favorite left-over recipes using this dish.



Makes 8-10 Servings

  • 2 Whole Chickens 2-3lbs. Each
  • 2 Whole Garlic bulbs, cut the top to roast
  • 2 Tbsp. Salt to cover all over both chickens
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ C. Unsalted butter
  • ½ Tsp. Granulated saffron mixed with a ¼ tsp. white sugar and ½ cup boiling water, you steep the saffron and sugar like a tea
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 C. Lemon juice (preferably fresh, bottled will do)
  • 1 Large onion
  • 1 C. Carrots
  • 1 C. Dried apricots
  • 1 C. Dried prunes pitted



  1. Pre heat Oven to 375F
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry
  3. Massage inside and outside the chicken with butter
  4. Season inside and outside both with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and paprika
  5. Cut onion and carrots and place in pan
  6. Place seasoned chicken over veggies and pour lemon juice and steeped saffron over both chickens
  7. Place dried fruit around the pan and a garlic bulb at each corner
  8. Cover with Aluminum , place in oven and bake for one hour, check and baste every 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for another hour uncovered.



  • You can stuff this with any of the rice dishes in this book
  • You can cut the portion in half but why would you… think of the great left overs, send one to your in-laws!
  • You can use the same seasoning with Tofu if you dont do chicken or turkey