A few years ago while my mom was here visiting we were invited to lunch at my cousin’s house Mitra.  I will say without a shadow of shame that food time is my favorite time when it comes to such visits because dear Lord the food is good, so good, ridiculously good! I think for lunch my Ameh, aunt, the same one with the killer Khoreshteh Fesenjan, had made Zereshk Polow, a staple when I visit since word got out when I was a kid that it was my favorite.  Along with the delicious Zereshk Polow was this platter with chicken in a GORGEOUS and BRIGHT yellow sauce.

As soon as my mom and I took one bight of the chicken our heads started spinning and our eyes widened in the sensory pleasures of the party that was going on in our mouth.  Mom and I locked eyes and sent each other telepathic messages resembling the following:

“Oh MY GOD, this is so good!”

“What’s in it? How is it made?”

“I taste saffron and lemon juice!”

“Oh! the color is so bright and it smells heavenly!”

I could have named this post simply Turmeric and Saffron Chicken and it would have made it justice, but that was too boring in my humble opinion, so I gave it a better name because the color is just like sunshine to me, so bright and warm!

Before we go forward I have to let you in on a little piece of info.  So here is the thing, when Mitra emailed me the recipe last week she reminded me that she makes this dish on the sour side.  If you have read the Khoreshteh Fesenjan post, by now you know that I am a fan of all things sour, it pretty much came with the half Shirazi DNA folks!  So if you don’t like your food on the sour/tart side, use less lemon juice in this recipe.


10 chicken drumsticks (Mitra specifically says that this dish is best when made with drumsticks)

1 large onion

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp Saffron mixed with water

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice


Rough chop onion and place in a pot.


Add chicken on top.


Season with salt and pepper.


Add turmeric. Look at the color! It just brightens up everything!


Add 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook for half hour or until chicken is cooked all the way through.


Remember to give the whole pot a stir about 10 minutes into the cooking allowing the turmeric to coat the chicken and onions.


In the mean time squeeze some fresh lemon juice. Remember, if you don’t want it on the sour side, just use 1/4 of a cup of juice.


When chicken is done remove from the pot and keep in a place where it stays warm.


Add Saffron and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning if needed.


With a hand blender or a regular blender, blend the juice and onion until nice and smooth. Let reduce for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. This should take less than 10 minutes.


Arrange drumsticks in a platter and pour sauce over the chicken.

So easy and quick to make! This chicken dish can be paired with any polow you may wish to serve it with.

I promise, once you taste this chicken, your life will never be the same!