If you're not familiar with ghormeh sabzi, prepare for an incredibly flavorful discovery: The Persian stew of chicken and kidney beans is brightened by tons of chopped parsley, cilantro and scallions, cooked down until it's dark green.
Some use veal for a slower braise than chicken, while others prefer using dried kidney beans instead of fresh. The only preference we have is using fresh herbs instead of the commonly used sabzi dried herb mix you find at most spice stores.
What really makes this stew so bright are the dried Persian limes. Once small fresh limes, they are boiled in a salt brine and then left in the sun to dry. Afterward, they turn into black ping-pong-ball-size citrus that are perfect for adding complex acidity to any dish. Piercing them once they have softened slightly is how you really impart their lime flavor on the stew. While we pierce three of the five limes, feel free to pierce more if you can't get enough acid.
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Ghormeh Sabzi (Chicken and Kidney Bean Stew)
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
3 tablespoons canola oil
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
6 ounces (12 medium) scallions, minced
2 cups minced parsley, plus more for garnish
1½ cups minced cilantro, plus more for garnish
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
Pita, for serving
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the pot. Cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
2. Add the turmeric and onion to the pot, and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the scallions, parsley and cilantro, and cook until wilted and dark green, 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and add the chicken stock, fenugreek leaves and dried limes.
3. Bring to a simmer until the chicken is tender and the liquid has reduced, 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking, pierce 3 of the limes with a paring knife.
4. Add the kidney beans and cook until warmed through, another 5 minutes. Divide the stew between bowls and garnish with more parsley and cilantro. Serve with pita on the side.