Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey

6 Aug

I’m not an expert on poetry, I can’t even claim to get immense pleasure from reading it regularly, but there are some poems that stick in my head. One such poem is “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Different lines from it seem appropriate at different times.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

That seems to be the part that resonates right now, and I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to you all for your kind words of support and encouragement while Big Man and I deal with the highs of a wonderful year of hard work behind us, and the lows of the ill health of loved ones in the here and now.

However, life really does go on. We live, we laugh, we cry and of course, we cook and eat. Cooking soothes the soul, eating does too. Well, we all knew that didn’t we?!  Today I have another beautiful Ottolenghi recipe that is stunningly simple and simply stunning. I followed the recipe almost exactly, which is rare, and I wouldn’t change a thing. When we ate this dish, I found myself thinking what beautiful Arab flavours it contained. As I looked up the recipe again to pull this post together, Yotam Ottolenghi says that he was influenced by a recipe from Claudia Roden’s book, Tamarind and Saffron. Aha, now I need to buy that one too!

Chicken with Saffron Hazelnuts & Honey (8)

Serves 4

  • 1 large (organic, free range if possible) chicken cut into portions
  • 2 onions roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon
  • A generous pinch of saffron strands (but use turmeric if you don’t have saffron)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 100g hazelnuts (actually, I did change this, he says unskinned, mine were skinned!)
  • 70g honey
  • 2 tbsp rosewater

In a large bowl mix the chicken pieces with the onions, olive oil, spices, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper and leave to marinate (from 1 hour to overnight in the fridge)

Heat the oven to 190 degrees (Gas 5). Brown the hazelnuts on an oven tray for 10 mins (I dry fried mine in a pan), cool slightly, roughly chop the nuts and set aside.

Transfer the chicken and marinade to a large tray or oven dish (you want to spread it all out) and bake for about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the honey, nuts and rose water to make a rough paste and spread it over the almost cooked chicken. Return the meat to the oven for about 10 minutes (or until cooked) and it is all golden brown.

This dish looks so beautiful (well, less so in my photo!) and is good even when cold.


77 Responses to “Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey”

  1. thecompletecookbook August 6, 2013 at 15:51 #

    Think this would only feed 3 in our home – no mention of who the piggy is…
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:09 #

      Well, now you come to mention it, I don’t recall it feeding the two of us twice over…maybe we need to buy bigger chickens!

  2. Ria August 6, 2013 at 15:57 #

    That looks delicious x

  3. Food,Photography & France August 6, 2013 at 16:00 #

    What an excellent recipe. I keep saying that I must buy at one of Ottolenghi’s books and this convinces me that it’s very necessary. I was very impressed with the picture. Brown food is the hardest thing to photograph, and you’ve made it look easy.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:12 #

      Ah, thanks Roger! I struggle with white food too – I have such a wonderful recipe for a typical Andalucían fish soup which is white and I make it almost weekly but haven’t posted it as I can’t get a photo of it which doesn’t make it look really unappetising. I have 2 of the 3 Ottolenghi books and I think it won’t be long until I also buy “Plenty” which I’m guessing you’d especially like as there are no meat recipes at all

  4. abrooke65 August 6, 2013 at 16:14 #

    I love his stuff. Beautiful recipe. I have Rodin’s cookbook in my shopping cart, but I”m afraid I’m on cookbook overload….but I want it! So beautiful. Hang in there. Life has its ups and downs and it looks like you’re having both at once. Que estes bien, Nena!

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:13 #

      Thanks for your lovely comment. We’re hanging on and we have each other. And I too now want a couple more of Ms Roden’s books!

  5. cookinginsens August 6, 2013 at 16:17 #

    That looks wonderful and I love the hazelnuts.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:17 #

      I usually cook with almonds or walnuts, so the hazelnuts were a lovely change!

  6. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 6, 2013 at 16:43 #

    Brilliant timing, I’ve gotta take chicken out for dinner 🙂

  7. Mad Dog August 6, 2013 at 16:55 #

    Ottolenghi can transform even a simple salad into something fantastic – I’m sure he will prove to be one of the most influential chefs this century. I think Claudi Roden’s Spanish book is also a great one for the recipe shelf.
    Your chicken looks delicious 😉

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:19 #

      Yes, I was looking at her Spanish book. I think my mum has it so will have to have a good read of it and then order a copy. Totally agree with you about Ottolenghi – I feel like his recipes were made for me….and I guess that’s the sign of a cookbook you’re going to be continuously inspired by.

  8. bitsandbreadcrumbs August 6, 2013 at 17:22 #

    Beautiful little verse from Kipling, and a great way to view life. Love this dish and remember seeing it in Ottolenghi’s book I checked out from the library. I’ve decided Jerusalem is a MUST HAVE! Now I’ll have to look for Claudia Roden. Still sending warm thoughts your way, Tanya.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:20 #

      Thanks Betsy – it’s a poem I really love. You lucky thing to have found an Ottolenghi book in the library, I love the two I have, can’t recommend them highly enough. Sending good wishes your way too…what a summer eh!

  9. Lynn August 6, 2013 at 18:06 #

    Nooooooooooo! Now I have another cookbook to look up and avoid buying. Looks yummy.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:20 #

      I think you should give in to the temptation Lynn….you know you want to!

  10. deliciouscravings August 6, 2013 at 18:18 #

    Reblogged this on deliciouscravings.

  11. Barbara August 6, 2013 at 18:21 #

    I’ve also made this one. It’s a winner. Never fails to impress and lovely hot and cold the next day. Good to see it here. Reminded me about it. Yummy.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:21 #

      Oh yes, I know you love his recipes. Just waiting for sweet potato time to try out that one you recommended!

  12. Our Growing Paynes August 6, 2013 at 19:45 #

    And wouldn’t you know it, we have hazelnuts! 🙂 We don’t have rosewater though. Any substitutions?

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:22 #

      How about orange blossom water or a few tablespoons of orange juice. Very different but I think it would work well with the hazelnuts and honey….

  13. restlessjo August 6, 2013 at 20:36 #

    Must admit, I was thinking I’d leave out the rosewater? Where would I get it and when would I use it again (I know! Lots and lots of this dish 🙂 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:23 #

      It’s a super subtle taste and it’s not expensive (I got mine in a Caribbean food shop but I think you can also buy it in Boots). It’s a great facial toner too!

      • restlessjo August 6, 2013 at 21:27 #

        That’s it then! I need lots of toning 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:28 #

        Me too – but not just my face. Maybe I need a rose water bath!

      • tobyo August 7, 2013 at 03:46 #

        I was thinking I’d just use regular water. no? not sure where I’d find it here, maybe Whole Foods? hmmm….

      • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2013 at 09:36 #

        I agree, I think recipes are there to guide us and if we don’t have a specific ingredient, well then…leave it out, make a substitution….there are so many lovely flavours in this dish it would still be amazing! Try a chemist, rose water is often sold as a facial toner or tonic.

  14. A very beautiful post. Thanks for imparting some wisdom and kind words. The meal looks wonderful 🙂

  15. Amanda August 6, 2013 at 22:21 #

    So glad you are back! I missed your little updates! X

  16. Promenade Claire August 6, 2013 at 22:25 #

    good to see you blogging and cooking and well just living. I have the Claudia Roden book so when you are next here help yourself and have a flick through, glass of wine in the other hand of course 🙂 and I still have the saffron you gave me, waiting, just waiting for something like this !

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2013 at 09:31 #

      I love the sound of flicking through your book with a glass of wine in my hand 🙂 Life is ok, as with everyone it has its up and downs and we’re doing fine….:)

  17. mrszeg August 7, 2013 at 00:40 #

    Cooking and enjoying the rewards really does seem to soothe the soul, and this recipe certainly looks like amazing comfort food.

    Keep holding on during life’s lows, and the life’s ups will come again.

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2013 at 09:32 #

      Thank you – wise words indeed. We are focusing on the good stuff (of which there is plenty) and dealing with the less good as it comes…as do most folk. Life can’t always be sunshine and roses, sometimes we have rain to deal with…

  18. ChgoJohn August 7, 2013 at 03:30 #

    You’ve convinced me to end my cookbook moratorium and buy “Jerusalem”. I’ve heard nothing but praise for the book and each recipe I’ve seen prepared has been wonderful. Yours is certainly no exception. It looks great and I bet that hazelnut “paste” is a great addition, especially once toasted a bit in the oven.
    Hang in there, Tanya. I hope things will improve for you. You and Big Man remain in my thoughts.

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2013 at 09:34 #

      You won’t regret it John! This recipe was from Ottolenghi The Cookbook but I’d be hard pressed to say which one of the two I prefer – they’re both amazing! Thank you for your thoughts and words – it means a lot, it really does. Compared to what some folk go through in life we’re blessed…well, we’re blessed anyway…and we’ll get through this not so good time together.

  19. tobyo August 7, 2013 at 03:43 #

    that looks delicious!! I need to try it too, thank you! and sorry to hear of your woes of late. life does go on and somehow we make it through. big hugs to you.

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2013 at 09:35 #

      Thank you – we do indeed make it through and kind words from folk like you make it just that bit easier 🙂

  20. Eha August 7, 2013 at 04:46 #

    Well, I ‘beat’ Chicago John on the Ottolenght score: was still in bed this morning when the post handed it over 🙂 ! I had heard SO much about it almost thought I would be disappointed: you have to be kidding 🙂 ! Kind wait for the working day to be over: what a fab collection so simply and elegantly presented!! And now you have made life more difficult by giving us the title of the Roden book and I have ‘loved’ her forever! Oh, beautiful lady: you are in my thoughts and evening prayers . . . .

    • Eha August 7, 2013 at 04:48 #

      . . . forgive fumble fingers: someone at the door and wrong keys pushed . . .

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2013 at 09:38 #

      Yay! You’ll have your nose stuck in it for days and I can almost guarantee that every page you turn you’ll think “ooh, I want to make that”! Thank you for your lovely words too – I was amazed at how much support and kindness people have shown and you know what? It really does help, it feels good to know that so many people are there for you. Thank you.

  21. TheDorsetFinca August 7, 2013 at 09:56 #

    This definitely looks like food for the soul. x

  22. TBM August 7, 2013 at 12:35 #

    I’ve always loved that poem by Kipling. I’m not much of a poetry fan, but I like that one. The meal looks and sounds wonderful. Sending you positive thoughts.

  23. gardenfreshtomatoes August 7, 2013 at 13:33 #

    I need that cookbook…as I tell myself every time I see someone do one of his recipes…
    Sending lots of love and hugs your way 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2013 at 15:08 #

      Thanks Marie – sending some Spanish hugs back to you and yours too 🙂

  24. swirleysays August 8, 2013 at 03:44 #

    Looks delicious!

  25. Garden Correspondent August 8, 2013 at 05:57 #

    I quite like the photo, and I just happen to have a chicken that I was going to roast, but this sounds far more interesting! This was quite a feast to read- I love the RK couplet.

    • Chica Andaluza August 9, 2013 at 14:30 #

      Glad you enjoyed it all – and thanks for your kind words about the photo 🙂 It looks really pretty when it’s cooked, I just thought it looked a little “brown” rather than saffron-gold in the snap!

  26. narf77 August 8, 2013 at 06:44 #

    What an exotic combination of ingredients and how gorgeous does that look! Even little vegan ole me thinks it looks yumpcious. Hugs for the lows and pats for the highs. Better than a life spent sitting on the fence where mediocrity rules though and the lows make you appreciate those highs SO much more don’t they? 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 9, 2013 at 14:31 #

      Oh I so agree about the highs and lows – rollercoasters are much more fun than straight motorways with no traffic on them 🙂

  27. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen August 8, 2013 at 07:21 #

    It has been a dreadful year.. is it that it’s 2013?? I, for one, hope this misfortune ends soon.. I will keep praying for you and your family. Good food nourishes our soul and gives us the strength to keep going, that’s for certain. I loved your poem today, that really speaks to me! xx

    • Chica Andaluza August 8, 2013 at 13:51 #

      Thanks Barbara – maybe it is the unlucky 13 – who knows?! Wishing you well too – there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

  28. PendleStitches August 8, 2013 at 20:09 #

    Glad you and Big Man are ok. You are often though of in this little part of the world.
    A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to Spain with a gift of saffron for me (I have wonderful friends, I know) and it seems so appropriate to make this recipe…I’m printing it off now!

    • Chica Andaluza August 9, 2013 at 14:27 #

      Ah, its lovely to know that we are thought of in your beautiful part of England 🙂 Saffron is a wonderful gift fro Spain – do hope you enjoy whatever you make with it!

  29. Michelle August 9, 2013 at 04:16 #

    That looks absolutely delicious. But, with Ottolenghi and Roden, one couldn’t possibly go wrong. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza August 9, 2013 at 14:28 #

      You are so right – they are masters in the kitchen!

  30. Karen August 10, 2013 at 16:08 #

    I’m so happy that you are sharing recipes from your new cookbook as this sounds wonderful and different.

    • Chica Andaluza August 11, 2013 at 10:26 #

      I am a bit obsessed with my Ottolenghi books and am planning to by the last one (Plenty – which I don’t yet have) but there are just so many inspiring dishes!

  31. Calico Stretch August 16, 2013 at 12:10 #

    Ya know, I’ve read so much about cooking with rose water but have never got around to trying it. I think this is the first time I’ve had a mouth watering reaction to such a recipe. And its one I think even I could manage lol. Yum!

    • Chica Andaluza August 19, 2013 at 18:19 #

      It as so good, you don’t need much at all, otherwise it would overpower it and become dessert-like!

  32. fati's recipes August 25, 2013 at 22:13 #

    That chicken looks so darn good, Chica! I love the flavour combos! Bookmarking for future inspiration! 🙂

  33. Burhan April 15, 2015 at 11:32 #

    Yummy food that can be seen from the look and smell.

  34. Jaketanakkarakter July 1, 2015 at 10:59 #

    yumyum, looks deliciousssssss

  35. The Chair's Antique January 22, 2017 at 04:23 #

    nice ,…

  36. aida tour February 6, 2017 at 08:41 #

    thanks for the receipt.. my family like chicken


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