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Saffron-braised chicken with pounded almond and garlic sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller Spanish main recipe for saffron-braised chicken with pounded almond and garlic sauce

By Emma Knowles
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 4
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Saffron-braised chicken with pounded almond and garlic sauce
Experiment with saffron's warm, delicate flavour with our unique twist on the classics.


  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 lemons, finely grated rind and juice only
  • 4 chicken marylands, skin on
  • 130 ml olive oil
  • 1 thick slice of day-old bread, coarsely torn
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (loosely packed)
  • 1 tbsp almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200 ml dry sherry or white wine
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 500 ml chicken stock (2 cups)
  • To serve: fried potatoes and green salad


  • 1
    Combine smoked paprika and half the saffron (soak remaining saffron in 1 tbsp warm water) in a small frying pan and toast over medium heat for 1 minute or until fragrant, then transfer to a small bowl. Add half the lemon rind and 2 tbsp olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix to a paste, then rub over chicken pieces and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • 2
    Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add bread and cook for 3-4 minutes or until just golden, add garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant. Add parsley, cook for another 30 seconds, then transfer to a food processor. Add almonds, cinnamon, remaining saffron, remaining lemon rind, lemon juice and sherry and process until a thick paste forms (this can also be done using a mortar and pestle). Set aside.
  • 3
    Heat remaining oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion and chicken pieces, skin-side down and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until chicken is golden and onion is soft. Add almond sauce and chicken stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Season to taste and serve with fried potatoes and a green salad, if desired.


Drink Suggestion: Fragrant white from Rías Baixas. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Emma Knowles