Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey

I call this dish the quiet sleeper. The blend of herbs is like no other I have ever used. The aroma of cinnamon and ginger together is deliciously potent. We drizzled the juices over the chicken and whole wheat couscous before tasting. The flavors were unique, the taste exquisite, definitely a keeper. The weekend started out with a hike at Spur Cross. The creek was full of water and we saw this bird off in the distance. We hiked for several hours and when we got home I knew we were having chicken for dinner, but no real game plan until I remembered I had this recipe bookmarked in a large pile of things to try. Another recipe adapted from "Ottolenghi The Cookbook",


1 large organic or free range chicken (divided into quarters)
2 onions (roughly chopped)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Saffron (generous pinch)
Lemon (juice of)
4 tbsp cold water
2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 ounces hazelnuts
2 ounces honey
2 tbsp rose water
2 spring onions (roughly chopped)

To prepare:

In a large bowl mix the chicken pieces with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper. Leave to marinade at least an hour. Overnight is much better if you can.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the hazelnuts out on a tray and roast for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Chop roughly and set aside.

Transfer the chicken and marinade to a roasting tray large enough to accommodate everything. Place chicken pieces skin-side up. roast for 35 minutes.

While chicken is roasting, mix the honey, the rosewater and nuts together to make a rough paste. Remove chicken from oven, top with a generous amount of nut paste on each piece, spread to cover. Return to oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown.

Transfer chicken to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped spring onions. Enjoy!


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