Tag Archives: Spanish

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

Tapas Night – Quail Eggs and Chorizo

I’m happy to report that I finally found a use for my quail eggs! Of course the Spanish would have a delicious way to prepare them – simply fried and served atop a piece of toast, along with chorizo. I served the little appetizers as part of a tapas party with some foodie friends of ours (whose dishes blew ours out of the water, p.s.).

But back to the quail eggs.

Small as your thumb, they are beautifully speckled, with a shell and membrane so thick, you might have to gently pierce it with your knife. It’s true – the little buggers were hard to get out. And then some of them wouldn’t come out at all (faulty eggs). I was stressing at that point because company would arrive at any moment and my chorizo was getting too browned. All that stress led me to feel bitter about the tiny eggs with their very large yolks, which tasted like a more-eggy chicken egg. Does that make sense? They taste stronger, but the same.

Anyhow, here’s what I did:

Toast sliced baguette with drizzle of olive oil, S&P. Rub still-hot bread slices with peeled garlic clove.

Heat a small drizzle of olive oil in a skillet. Brown 1 package of Spanish chorizo, removed from casings and sliced into half-moons. Drain on paper towels.

Crack quail eggs into little bowl, then pour one-by-one onto the still hot and oily chorizo pan. Fry until the edges begin to brown, then remove with spatula and place on top of toast. Top with chorizo and parsley to garnish.

To accompany our meal, we served Spanish Marcona almonds, which are so salty and oily that you may have trouble stopping.

My friend made these cheese-and-almond stuffed dates that are wrapped and fried with bacon. They were to-die-for.

She also made this decadent chocolate ganache and caramelized banana tart with fresh banana slices on top. It was just lovely.

And of course I had to make a quick sangria. One bottle of a fruity red wine plus some sugar, sliced oranges, blackberries, lemonade and good club soda. Let it chill for 1 hour. Done!

Enjoy your next fiesta, friends! xoxo