Saturday, 6 October 2012

Saffron Chicken

 Saffron has to be my favourite spice, and I'm sure my husband will testify that it is no coincidence that it is also the most expensive. I have very fond memories of Saffron, for me it is synonymous with Christmas. In Sweden "Lussekatta", are traditional sweet Saffron breads / buns that are eaten in abundance during the festive period, and in honour of St Lucia. When I was younger I would know it was getting closer to Christmas when I could smell the heady mixture of yeast and saffron rising up a storm above the boiler. My mother would prop me up on a stool and get me to plait the dough or roll them into snails and stud them with fat plump raisins. I have to confess that most of the raw dough ended up in my tummy which usually resulted in a stomach ache of yeasty proportions, but still saffron is in my blood. I know that it is a pricey spice but I feel that when I use it, I make sure I make the most of it, and let me tell you I am never stingy nor should you be. This chicken recipe is one of my favourites, purely because I have dreamt this up using my taste buds as blue print, never-the-less it packs a huge flavour punch.

 I do de-bone my own chicken (don't panic) this is not essential but I love the end result. If you are not feeling brave, simply spatchcocking a Chicken will do, split the bird down the back either side of the birds spine, remove the spine and reserve for stock, open the bird out like a book and using your weight push down to crack the bones and flatten the bird. Simple really.

You will need:
0.4g pack of saffron
4 tbsp of light tahini paste
2 tbsp of honey
4 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of sumac
2 tsp of sweet paprika
1 tsp of smoked paprika pimenton
2 tsp of maldon sea salt
the juice of a lemon
5 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp of powdered ginger
2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses 
a  large whole spatchcocked Chicken

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c

In a bowl combine all of the ingredients apart from the chicken and mix until it resembles a smooth sauce. Place the Spatchcocked chicken into the marinade and leave for at least 3 hours, overnight would be best. Place the full lot including the marinade onto a baking tray, chicken bone side up to start with and cook for 15 minutes, turn over the chicken so that the skin side is facing upward and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the skin is well coloured. To check that the skin is thoroughly cooked make a small incision in-between the thigh and breast and is the juices run clear it is perfect. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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