I spent about six months of my senior year of college as a waitress at an amazing Persian restaurant. The food at the restaurant centered around fresh vegetables, spices with incredible health benefits, and grilled lean proteins. Even after I left for a job more related to my degree, I still went back every time I was in town for my favorite kabobs. My boyfriend, who worked across the street, would stop in all the time for his favorite: chicken barg.
Now that I’m 900 miles away and haven’t found a Persian restaurant in my new town yet, I’m having some serious cravings! We don’t have a grill at our apartment yet, so this week, I set out to modify barg so I could make it in the oven. Barg is packed with lean protein, healthy fats, and it tastes delicious.
Serve this with basmati rice and tzatziki with cucumber slices to make it a full meal. If you’d like me to share my favorite recipe for tzatziki (a Greek yogurt dip perfect for veggies), please let me know below! If you like tomatoes, they’re traditionally served with this dish, grilled on the same skewer as the chicken. Since I don’t use skewers in this recipe, you can roast them with the chicken.
I like to sprinkle my barg with sumac. In the restaurant where I worked, this spice was found by the pound! Sumac is a deep maroon-red spice that adds a bit of a citrusy taste to food like nothing I’ve tasted before or since. It’s also high in antioxidants and a perfect addition to an anti-inflammatory diet if you’re at risk of heart disease. I tend to pile it on my chicken and basmati rice, so I’ll live forever, right? It’s not in typical grocery stores, but your local Indian market will likely have it. If not, it’s easy to find on Amazon; here’s the brand I usually use. In addition, saffron can be found at most supermarkets. However, it is quite expensive. I’d strongly recommend purchasing from Amazon to save some money. Here is the best value I found without buying a huge amount.*
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 c. nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. saffron
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tbsp. sumac for serving
1. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, onion, garlic, saffron, salt, and pepper; stir until uniform in color.
2. Place your chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over them. Close the bag, making sure most of the air is out, and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a sheet pan with olive oil nonstick spray.
4. Arrange the breasts at least an inch apart on the sprayed baking sheet.
5. Your cooking time will vary depending on the size of chicken breast you use. These were absolutely enormous, so I baked for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through. If yours are more normally sized, I’d start with 20 minutes each side and then check.
6. Sprinkle with sumac to taste and serve sliced with your choice of sides.
Note – Much of the marinade does not stick to the chicken and remains in the bag. To more accurately reflect the actual macros, I’ve only included the nutritional information for half of the marinade (or 1/8th of the total marinade per serving).
Protein: 28 g
Carbohydrates: 3 g
Fat: 6.5 g
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