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Fragrant saffron chicken

by Christina Julia

Fragrant saffron chicken

Serves: 10 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 2 chickens, about 1.6kg/31⁄2lb each
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 225g/8oz onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 4 dried apricots grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 300ml/10fl oz dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons clear honey
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry paste
  • 300ml/10fl oz mayonnaise
  • 300ml/10fl oz double cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Put the chickens in two separate large saucepans. Cover with cold water
    and add the carrot, celery, peppercorns and 1⁄2 bay leaf to each. Bring
    slowly to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for about 1 hour. Pierce
    the thigh joints with a skewer to test if cooked – the juices should run
    clear. Leave the chickens to cool in their poaching liquid.
  • Drain the chickens. Remove and discard the skin, strip off the meat and
    discard the bones. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, and sauté the onion until soft.
    Grind the saffron strands to a powder using a mortar and pestle. Stir
    into the onions with the apricots, lemon zest, white wine, honey, curry
    paste and 1 bay leaf. Bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, for about
    10 minutes until well reduced and the consistency of chutney.
  • Cool and purée in a blender or food processor, then sieve.
  • Fold the cold saffron mixture into the mayonnaise. Whip the cream until
    it just holds its shape. Fold into the mayonnaise mixture, and season with
    salt and pepper.
  • Mix together the chicken pieces and the mayonnaise mixture, and serve
    on a bed of rice.

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