Indulgent dinner party: the main course

This is an Ottolenghi recipe and it’s his really unusual combination of saffron, hazelnuts and rose water which creates this amazing perfumed chicken dish. Served with roasted jersey royal potatoes and mange tout it worked as a nice contrast to the rich starter

For 5 you need:

  • 10 chicken thighs or 1 large chicken, divided into quarters: breast and wing, leg and thigh
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a generous pinch of saffron strands
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 100g unskinned hazelnuts
  • 70g honey
  • 2 tbsp rosewater (depending on preference, I would use slightly less personally)
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped

Chop up the onions nice and finely and then marinate alongside your chicken (preferably the night before) with the olive oil, cinnamon, ground ginger, saffron, lemon and water.

chicken with saffron, hazelnuts, honey and rosewater

Whack that oven on to 180 and let her heat up. Once hot, spread your hazelnuts out on a baking tray and roast for 5-10 minutes until nice and toasted.

chicken with saffron, hazelnuts, honey and rosewater

On the night, bung your chicken with its marinade into the oven  for 35 mins. While she’s a cooking, blitz together in a Kenwood or Magimix, the nuts, honey and rosewater to a coarse paste.  After 35 minutes pull the chick out and smother the paste over the top and return to the oven for another 5 – 10 minutes, until its formed a golden brown crust.

chicken with saffron, hazelnuts, honey and rosewater

chicken with saffron, hazelnuts, honey and rosewater

For the roast potatoes, just give the jersey royals a bit of a scrub and then whack in a baking tray with plenty of salt and olive oil. Grab a whole bulb of garlic and bash the cloves a bit but keep them still in their skin and toss them in the pan too. Roast for 1 hour and 15 mins until caramelised on the outside but soft and sweet on the outside.

Roast jersey royal potatoes

Boil your mange tout and finish by scattering some spring onions over the chicken. Allow the aromas to transport you somewhere exotic and dive in.

chicken with saffron, hazelnuts, honey and rosewater

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