Saturday, 18 February 2012

Roast Chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey

As a straight bloke (unusual intro to a recipe I know), I occasionally think, if I was gay, who would I like my partner to be. George Michael to sing to me? Graham Norton to make me laugh or Stephen Fry for intellectual conversation? Well I've decided that if I ever cross over, Yotam Ottolenghi is my man, he's not bad looking actually but the way to my heart is through my stomach and once again his excellent book has delivered.

This dish is dead easy and is lovely served with couscous and a char grilled courgette and asparagus salad which I'll post later. There are great textures and contrasts in flavour, however I did omit the chopped spring onion garnish at the end which I deemed superfluous and I also used thighs. The sauce is quite sweet but not overpowering as the honey and rosewater work so well with the spices. For 4 people, the cost equates to approx £2.25 per head.

Ingredients : 8 chicken thighs, 2 onions roughly chopped, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1tsp ground cinnamon, large pinch of saffron, juice of a lemon, 4 tbsp cold water, seasoning, 100g unskinned hazelnuts, 70g honey, 2 tbsp rosewater

1. In a large bowl mix the chicken with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, seasoning and water. Marinade in the fridge for at least an hour or even overnight.
2. Pre-heat oven to 190 / GM 5. Spread the hazelnuts on a tray and roast for 10 minutes. Once cooled, rub off outer skin and roughly chop. Set aside.
3. Transfer chicken mix to a roasting tray leaving the meat skin side up. Cook for 35 minutes.
4. Mix the honey with the nuts and the rosewater. Spoon over the chicken and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. By now the chicken should be fully cooked and the nuts golden brown.
5. Transfer to a large service dish as I feel this looks nicer than serving individual portion.

And before you say I burnt my nuts, they're caramelized ok!

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