Khorest-e Sib o Aloo (Persian Chicken, Apple and Dried Plum Stew)

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Ten years ago tomorrow I married the love of my life. Our wedding was a grand affair and  the meeting of two completely different cultures. My husband is about 10th generation Canadian, so it was quite a sight to see some of his extended relatives from rural Ontario (who I’m sure had never set eyes on a Middle Eastern person before our wedding) dancing to Persian music. It was truly spectacular!

Before and after the wedding was filled with parties and celebrations. I don’t think any of us had anticipated that our wedding festivities would go on for a full year! Leading up to the wedding I had three bridal showers, but probably my most memorable shower was the one our dear family friend Behi-joon threw for me……it was like a wedding in itself!

One of my favourite keepsakes from this shower was a recipe book that she had put together for me in which all ladies in attendance submitted their favourite recipe. In celebration of my anniversary, I thought I would include one of the delicious recipes from this collection. Our family friend Pouri-joon had graciously given me her recipe for Khorest-e Sib o Aloo, which was her specialty.

With braised chicken, apples, dried plumes, pomegranate and aromatic spices, this sweet and slightly tart stew is not only easy to make, but also nourishing and the perfect Fall dish.

Khorest-e Sib o Aloo
(Serves 4-6)

2 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp turmeric
10-12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp pomegranate paste
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 cooking apples (I used Fuji), peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup pitted dried plums (prunes)
1/4 tsp ground saffron dissolved in hot water
salt and pepper

Heat canola oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden. Add the turmeric and saute for another minute.

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Add the chicken pieces and brown for 10 minutes over medium heat.

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Add the tomato paste and saute for one minute. Add the chicken broth, cinnamon, pomegranate paste and sugar. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

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Add the apples, prunes, lime juice, saffron water, one tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more salt, pepper, sugar or lime juice if necessary. The stew should be a little sweet and a little sour – if it’s too sweet for your taste, add some lime juice. If it’s too sour add a bit of sugar.

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Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Wedding photo

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10 thoughts on “Khorest-e Sib o Aloo (Persian Chicken, Apple and Dried Plum Stew)

  1. What a special gift that cookbook is. Everyone would agree the Mom recipes are always the best, no matter who’s mom!
    I’ve never had apple-aloo khoresht. It’s such a simple and elegant recipe. Can’t wait to try.
    And you are such a beautiful bride. Congrats on your 10 years together! xo

  2. What a wonderful picture of a beautiful, beaming bride and adoring groom! Your wedding sounds like it was amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe from your special cookbook. What a treasure! Happy Anniversary!!!! be payeh ham pir beshid 🙂

  3. I was really excited to try making this, so I made it last night, but it didn’t turn out too great. I’m new to Persian cuisine and this was the first dish I made, so I’m not surprised it didn’t turn out well, but I’m stumped about what went wrong. It was very watery, almost like a thin soup! I was able to reduce it a little, but it was still pretty thin. I put in the amounts the recipe called for, except I didn’t put in as much chicken, but I don’t think that would have had that much affect on the thickness of the stew. The only thing I can think of is maybe there was too much apple (I used 3 Fuji apples like you said, but maybe they were too big?). Do you have any ideas?

    Also, the ingredients call for saffron dissolved in water, but the instructions don’t say when to add it. I put it in at the same time as the chicken broth.

    • That’s too bad it didn’t turn out! Persian khorests are not supposed to be as thick as traditional stews…..they are served with rice to soak up some of the liquid. But if it’s too runny there are a number of things you can do. You can dissolve 1 tsp of cornstarch in some cold water and stir it in. That will thicken it up a bit. You can try reducing the amount of chicken stock to 1 1/2 cups. You can also add a tablespoon more of tomato paste (I am very generous with my tablespoons!). I hope that helps!

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