Yalda Crispy Roasted Chicken with Verjus

Yalda Crispy Roasted Chicken with Verjus

Yield: 2 servings

I created this dish because I love chicken skin, and because I love chicken with sweet, sour and salty elements. There are two key elements to getting this dish perfect. The first is making sure your chicken is cooked through with a very crispy skin. And the second is getting the sauce to the right texture. 

I would recommend making some basmati rice to serve with this dish. If you don’t have any or all these specific dried fruits on hand, get creative with what you have at home. And if you don’t have access to verjus, lemon juice is a good substitute.


  • 2 bone-in chicken hindquarters
  • 3 tbsp. neutral oil, like avocado
  • 1 tbsp. barberry
  • ¼ cup dried sour cherry
  • 2 tbsp. golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp. ground saffron that has been dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp. marash chili
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup verjus

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  1. Ahead of time, salt the chicken and allow the skin to dry overnight in the fridge, uncovered or at least for one hour prior to cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  3. Heat a heavy cast iron pan on high; the pan should be smoking. Once this happens, turn the flame off, and add the oil before putting the chicken in the pan, skin-side down.
  4. Lower the heat to medium until the skin is golden. Flip the chicken so the skin side is up, and put the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Once the chicken is done, pull the pan out of the oven and place the thighs on a plate. Pour the drippings in a bowl and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, add 3 tablespoons of oil followed by the ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt and bay leaf. Lightly fry these ingredients until the aroma blooms.
  6. Add raisins, sour cherry and barberry; stir for another minute, being careful not to burn.
  7. Add chili, and immediately deglaze the pan with the verjus. After a minute or so, add the pan drippings followed by the saffron. Allow the sauce to reduce (for about 2 minutes), and add salt to taste.
  8. Lay the chicken over the sauce and serve with rice. Feel free to garnish your plate with tons of cilantro, basil, tarragon, chives, pistachios, and crushed walnuts for texture.
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