Tag Archives: saffron

Chicken with Almond-Garlic Saffron Sauce

Seasoned to Taste - Chicken with Saffron Almond Sauce

Saffron is an unusual flavor that I’m not totally sure about. On one hand, I associate it with delicious Spanish dishes like paella, but on the other hand, it has a strange essence. The turmeric color it releases is beautiful, but that earthy flavor easily overwhelms my palette, so I have to be careful how I use it.

This Spanish-inspired dish uses saffron along with a bunch of garlic and almonds to create a rich, creamy sauce served with chicken. It is quite similar to a curry, so I am calling it Spanish Chicken Curry. The almonds puree with fresh bread crumbs to thicken the sauce without the aid of dairy products. I love that trick.

While I only used a small pinch of saffron threads (get these at Trader Joe’s – way cheaper!), I still found the flavor a bit strong. Grant loved it and ate all the leftovers, so perhaps the problem lies with my pickiness. My senses have been much more acute lately…

I made this with an easy rice side – simply cooking a little tomato in oil in your rice pot, then stirring in the uncooked rice and proceeding as normal. The tomato broke down into a nice light-red tinge gently coating the rice, providing a sweet bed for my chicken and sauce.

This recipe has a few steps, but the sauce can be made in advance and simply added in where the recipe calls for it. Note that I used boneless skinless chicken because it’s just so much easier to eat!

Adapted from Bon Appeit:

Chicken with Almond-Garlic Saffron Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes crustless white bread
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup dry Sherry or white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 chicken legs (I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method:

  • Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add almonds and stir until golden brown, about 3 minutes; transfer to paper towels. Place 1/3 cup almonds in a blender or food processor. Set aside remaining almonds for garnish.
  • Add bread cubes and garlic to same pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until bread is golden brown and crisp, 4–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to blender. Add broth, wine, 1/2 tsp. pepper, saffron, and a large pinch of salt; process until almost smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pot and cook, turning down heat if needed to prevent burning, until chicken is golden brown on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Add onion to pot; cook, stirring often, until onion is caramelized around edges, about 6 minutes. Add sauce and chicken to pot, pushing down chicken to submerge. Bring sauce to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until chicken is just cooked through, approx. 10 minutes for me, but depends on the thickness of your chicken. Bone-in chicken will take 20 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide chicken and sauce among bowls. Garnish each serving with reserved almonds and chopped parsley.

Seasoned to Taste - Chicken with Almond Saffron Sauce

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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Chicken and chorizo paella

Making this dish, I had one of those “if only I had known …” moments. Spanish chorizo. It is expensive and difficult to find around here, even though Mexican chorizo is everywhere. But it is sooo delicious, whether you are slicing it for a cheese plate (perhaps with some manchego and marcona almonds?) or chopping it for the quintessential Spanish dish: paella.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Spain, where one of my goals was to have paella. It was yummy, full of fresh seafood and cooked so that the rice was crunchy on the bottom and soft on the top.

Paella Marisco

Paella de pollo

Bon Appetit had a recent article about paella that made me hungry for it. I just love the idea of cooking with saffron, and I happened to have some from when I made chicken scallopine. It turned out really well. Instead of buying bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, I goofed and bought boneless skinless thighs. No matter – I just watched them to make sure they didn’t overcook. I also didn’t add peas, because I don’t like peas. However, if you want a bit of green in the dish, feel free to add peas or a sprinkling of chopped parsley. I also omitted the roasted red peppers, which you can chop and mix into the rice, if desired.

Of course, I don’t have a real paella pan, but I do have a large nonstick skillet that is oven-safe. However, it doesn’t have a lid, so I just covered it with tin foil and placed my biggest lid on top … it worked just fine, I only added a little extra chicken stock to account for the increased evaporation.

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 large chicken thighs (2.5 lbs)
  • 8 oz. smoked Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 large chopped yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. long-grain rice
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes in juice

Preheat oven to 400. Mix wine with saffron and set aside.

Combine salt, paprika, black pepper in a small bowl and rub all over chicken.

Heat large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add chorizo and saute until fat renders and sausage browns, about 3 min. Transfer to a large plate and add EVOO to skillet. Add chicken thighs and cook until browned on all sides, 4 min. per side. Transfer chicken to plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add onion, cooking until translucent, 5 min. Add minced garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add rice and stir to coat. Add wine-saffron mixture and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then stir in chorizo. Place chicken atop mixture in skillet. Cover tightly with foil, then lid, and bake until rice is almost tender, 25 min.

Transfer chicken to plate, stir rice, season to taste with salt and pepper. If chicken is done, leave it out. If not, return it to the skillet and cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 10 min. longer.

The chicken thighs are so much more tender than chicken breasts, and the chorizo is a nice, spicy addition. I think there should always be more chorizo!

Spoon big servings on your plate and dig in! Enjoy, friends. xoxo