Golden Saffron Chicken & Rice Recipe | Abel & Cole

Golden Saffron Chicken & Rice

Cooking time
Serves4 people

Stay on the sunny side of dinner with a golden pot of tender diced chicken leg and soft hunks of melting sweet potato spiced with saffron and aromatic ras al hanut, bubbled low and slow and served with fragrant bay and lemon basmati rice.

Ingredients

  • 500g diced chicken leg
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400g carrots
  • 500g sweet potatoes
  • A pinch of saffron powder
  • 1 tsp ras al hanut
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 300g white basmati rice
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100g baby leaf spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 900ml-1 ltr boiling water
  • 4 tbsp cold water (optional)
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Method

1. Fill your kettle and boil it. Place a frying pan (or casserole dish if you’re cooking the stew on the hob) on a medium-high heat for 2 mins add 1 tbsp oil and chicken. Fry for 8 mins, turning every now and then, till browned.
2. While the chicken browns, peel and thinly slice the onions. Peel and grate the garlic cloves. Peel and chop the carrots and sweet potatoes into small chunks. From this point, follow the instructions for the slow cooker, or cooking the dish on the hob.
3. Slow cooker: Place the browned chicken into a 3½ ltr slow cooker. Add the onions and garlic. Add the veg, a pinch of saffron powder and 1 tsp ras al hanut with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir together to coat everything in the spices. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in 300ml boiling water from your kettle. Stir and pop the lid on.
4. Set the slow cooker to medium and cook for 6-7 hrs. For a faster stew, set the slow cooker to high and cook for 5-6 hrs, or set to low and cook for 8-10 hrs.
5. When the chicken has 20 mins left to cook, fill and boil the kettle again, and prepare the rice. Rinse the rice under cold water, then tip it into a pan. Peel the lemon rind using a vegetable peeler and add to the pan with the bay leaf. Pour in 600ml boiling water from the kettle. Add a pinch of salt. Cover. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat right down. Simmer for 8 mins till all the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat. Leave the rice to steam in the pan, lid on, for 4-5 mins while you finish the chicken.
6. Roughly chop the spinach leaves. Taste the chicken and add more salt, pepper or ras al hanut if you think it needs it. Stir in the spinach leaves to wilt them. Spoon the rice into warm shallow bowls, discarding the lemon zest and bay leaf, and top with the saffron chicken and veg. Serve with wedges of the lemon for squeezing.
7. On the hob: Lift the chicken out of the casserole dish and set aside on a plate. Add the onions and 4 tbsp cold water to the dish and cook gently for 6 mins, stirring often, till softened and lightly coloured. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for 2 mins.
8. Add the chicken back to the pan along with the chopped veg. Stir in a pinch of saffron powder and 1 tsp ras al hanut with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in 400ml hot water from the kettle. Pop the lid on. Cook on a medium-low heat, stirring every now and then, for 40 mins, till the chicken and veg are tender. Add more liquid if you need to.
9. When the chicken has 20 mins left to cook, fill and boil the kettle again, and prepare the rice. Rinse the rice under cold water and tip it into a pan. Peel the lemon rind using a veg peeler and add to the pan with the bay leaf. Pour in 600ml boiling water from the kettle. Add a pinch of salt. Cover. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat right down. Simmer for 8 mins till all the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat. Leave the rice to steam in the pan, lid on, for 4-5 mins while you finish the chicken.
10. Roughly chop the spinach leaves. Taste the chicken and add more salt, pepper or ras al hanut if you think it needs it. Stir in the spinach leaves to wilt them. Spoon the rice into warm shallow bowls, discarding the lemon zest and bay leaf, and top with the saffron chicken and veg. Serve with wedges of the lemon for squeezing.
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