Full Recipe

Saffron & Almond Chicken

P1120272 - recipe

This week’s recipe is a Spanish inspired chicken dish with subtle layers of flavour. It’s easy to prepare and as with most of my recipes you don’t have to be exact with ingredient quantities. The ground almonds add texture and help thicken the sauce. It’s not a pretty looking dish though and unfortunately my photo doesn’t do it justice. The taste is great!! I made this for my father’s birthday last week and we followed this with rhubarb and pear crumble which Frances made.


Ingredients (for 4)

8 chicken thighs, bone in

1 large onion, finely chopped

5-6 cloves garlic, crushed

100-150g ground almonds

Good pinch of saffron threads, crushed between your fingers and soaked in a little boiling water

1 tsp ground cloves

1 cinnamon stick

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2-3 bay leaves

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine

Good splash of brandy

1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and discarded, skin finely sliced

Handful of sliced almonds, toasted

Finely chopped parsley as garnish

Salt and pepper


Heat the oven to 180°C.


Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Heat some oil in a flameproof oven dish and brown the chicken pieces in batches. Set them aside.


Drain most of the oil from the dish, return it to the stove and add the onion. Cook gently till soft but not brown then add the garlic. Cook for another minute. Add the ground cloves, cayenne, cinnamon stick and ground almonds. Return the chicken pieces to the dish. Add a good splash of brandy, bring to the boil and immediately light it to burn off the alcohol.


Add the stock, wine, saffron and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, cover and place the dish in the oven. Cook for about 40 minutes or till the chicken is tender. Stir in the sliced preserved lemon and cook for another 5-10 minutes.


Serve on rice, garnish with parsley and a few sliced almonds.