There’s no shortage of ways to spice up your everyday chicken—and this Persian-inspired dinner, yogurt-marinated chicken breasts are seared in a cardamom, coriander, and garlic-spiced breading. Tender roasted carrots are sliced on a bias to create more surface area, which ensures quick and even roasting, not to mention a stunning presentation.
6 ounces low-fat yogurt
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons roasted pistachios
¾ pound carrots
⅛ ounce parsley, divided
1 yellow onion
¾ cup basmati rice
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons currants
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup flour
¼ cup olive oil
large resealable plastic bag (optional)
6″ small pot with lid
12″ large nonstick pan
Yogurt infuses the chicken with moisture and rich flavor, but you’ll want to wipe off as much as possible before breading. This helps the flour stick in a thin layer, ensuring an evenly browned crust.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Pour yogurt into a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, then add to yogurt and turn to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature. Meanwhile, roughly chop pistachios. Quarter lemon and set aside for serving. Rinse carrots and cut crosswise on a diagonal into ½-inch pieces. Rinse parsley and roughly chop leaves, discarding stems. Peel onion and cut into small dice.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and sauté, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and translucent, about 2 minutes more.
Add cinnamon stick, 1¼ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt to pot with rice and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until water is fully evaporated, 10-12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Then, remove and discard cinnamon stick, and fluff rice with a fork. Stir in currants, pistachios, and half of parsley. Cover jeweled rice again to keep warm.
In small bowl, whisk together cardamom, coriander, and garlic powder to make spice mix. While rice cooks, on a baking sheet, toss carrots with half of spice mix, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer and roast until tender and slightly browned, 12-15 minutes.
While carrots roast, on a large plate, combine flour, remaining spice mix, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Remove chicken from yogurt, wiping off as much as possible (see Recipe Tip). Season chicken all over with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired, then dredge in spiced flour, shaking off excess.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken and sear until crust is browned and chicken is no longer pink, 5-6 minutes per side. Divide jeweled rice between serving plates, then top with Persian chicken, carrots, and lemon wedges for squeezing over. Garnish with remaining parsley and enjoy!