saffron chicken

This recipe is for a good customer of mine, who first had this dish with me at one of my pop up kitchens and has asked relentlessly for the recipe. There are a few key ingredients I like to use in this dish. The yoghurt is a lebanese style but if you can’t get hold of this type a good quality full fat greek yoghurt will work. The next ingredients is a good quality saffron, I like to use use Irani saffron or one from La Mancha the quality of the saffron will be reflected in the price.

If you are a lover of chicken and saffron this recipe is of course for you.


Prep time 2 hrs

Cooking time 20 minutes

Serves 4


  • 600 gms chicken, cubed
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 350gm Lebanese yogurt, natural
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads
  • 2tbsp of warm water
  • salt and pepper
  • garnish slices of red chillies and flat leaf parsley


In a small bowl place the saffron and warm water, leave to infuse for 5 minutes. I infuse the saffron this way as the fats in the   yoghurt can inhibit the saffron from developing its flavour and rich intense colour

In a bowl place the yogurt, oil, garlic, turmeric, lemon juice, salt and pepper, mix to combine the ingredients.

Add the infused saffron to the yoghurt mix, remove some into an additional bowl for dressing the dish later but make sure there is a clove of garlic in it.

Finally add the chicken to the marinade, coating all the pieces. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinade.

After 1hour 50 minutes remove the chicken from the fridge and leave to marinade for a further 10 minutes, this is to take the chill off the chicken and help with the cooking process.

There are two methods of cooking you can use, the first is to griddle the chicken pieces removing some of the marinade or you can bake in the oven at 160c for twenty minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces.

To serve, dress the cooked chicken with the reserved marinade (NOT the raw chicken marinade!), sprinkle with red chilli slices and torn flat leaf parsley, this dish goes well with pomegranate tabouleh.






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