Some recipes are successful only with ample practice, once the cook becomes attuned to the ingredients and equipment involved. Tahdig, a classic Persian rice preparation, is one such dish.

Traditionally made on the stovetop, tahdig is defined by its signature crisp, golden-brown bottom crust. To serve, the pan is inverted, exposing that crunchy layer, under which should be light and fluffy basmati.

But when we began developing a tahdig recipe, reliable results proved elusive. Everything from pan style and fat choice to the evenness and strength of the burner heat made it nearly impossible to get the consistent outcome we were after.

In our search for a more predictable method, we learned about tahchin morgh, an oven-baked variation enhanced by chicken, saffron, dried berries and bright citrus.

The recipe solved for most of the variables we’d been struggling with. In addition to oven heat being more even than stovetop, yogurt and egg yolk are added to the rice to encourage caramelization. Baking it in a glass dish further ensures consistent heat distribution while allowing the cook to easily monitor the crust’s progress.

The result: a beautifully browned exterior that gives way to fragrant, fluffy rice with tender chicken and tart currants every time.