Full Recipe

Lemon, Honey and Saffron Chicken

Lemon Honey Saffron Chicken

Wanting to cook something simple but flavoursome for dinner a few days ago, I decided on this Spanish/Moorish inspired dish using chicken pieces I’d bought from Deidre. The chicken needs to be marinated for at least 2 hours but as usual, the longer the better. If you like quite lemony tart flavours, use ½ cup of lemon juice instead of a ¼ each of lemon juice and chicken stock. This works well in a cazuela cooked in the oven or under a hooded BBQ.

  • Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tbps runny honey plus a little extra
  • Large pinch of saffron threads, crushed well in a mortar and pestle and soaked in 1tbsp very hot water
  • 1 large onion, quartered and finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Finely chopped coriander or parsley to garnish


Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a cazuela or other baking dish. Mix the spices and a little salt and pepper and rub this mix all over the chicken pieces. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.

Whisk together the honey, lemon juice, chicken stock and saffron. Pour this over the chicken. Prick the pieces all over several times with a fork. Cover the dish, and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Turn the pieces occasionally. Bring the chicken up to room temperature before placing the dish in the oven.

Heat the oven to 200°C. Place the sliced onion in the cazuela under and around the chicken. Drizzle a little more honey over each piece of chicken and a little olive oil.

Cook for about 45 minutes or till tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with coriander and serve with rice and a green vegetable or salad.