Tahchin (chicken with crispy rice)

This recipe is Persian Dish from Tasting Table and it is amazing! I had a bit of fail on this one, my rice stuck to the pan pretty badly, but I was able to get it out with a spatula. It did not look pretty, but it tasted amazing!! It was also quite a bit of work. All in all worth it! 

3 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced thun
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp orange peel, minced
½ c plain whole yogurt
1 egg

For the Rice:
3 c basmati rice, rinsed
3 tbsp salt, divided
1 stick butter, melted, divided

For the Topping:
1 c dried barberries
1/4 c parsley, minced

24 hours before serving, make the filling: In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until opaque, 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt, and cook, partially covered, over medium-low heat until cooked, 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the minced orange peel with the yogurt. Add the cooled chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

Two hours before the chicken is finished marinating, place the rice in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the salt and cover with water. Let the rice soak for 2 hours, then drain.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and season with the remaining tablespoon of salt. Add the rice and cook until tender, but still chewy, 5 minutes, then drain.

Strain the chicken mixture of its marinade and reserve the marinating liquid in a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg until smooth. Add 3 cups of the cooked basmati rice and stir to coat.

Grease a nonstick, ovenproof 12-inch pot with 2 tbsp of the melted butter. Lay the marinade-coated rice on the bottom of the pot and press the rice up the sides of the pot by 1½ inches.

Distribute the chicken pieces over the rice, leaving a 1-inch border, then top with the remaining cooked rice. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top layer of rice.

Cover the pot tightly with a lid or foil and bake the rice for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for 45 minutes more.

Fill your sink with 2 inches of cold water and place the pot into the water for 5 minutes; this will help the rice release from the sides of pot. Remove from the sink and use a paring knife to separate the rice from the pot. Place a large plate or platter over the pot and invert the two so the tahchin falls onto the plate. Spoon the dried barberries on and around the tahchin, then garnish with parsley leaves and serve.

Serves 8 – 10.