Saturday, July 09, 2011
Ottolenghi Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts & Honey
Life is so full of uncertainties that sometimes I feel a good old home cooked meal seem to bring us back to where it all started.
In a bid to find comfort, I turned to one of my favourite cookbooks, Ottolenghi that showcases recipes from the famous cafe in London. In some ways, places like Plan B and the other BIG outlets have a teeny weeny bit of Ottolenghi in them - the displays of salads, the tall trays of desserts and etc.
I was drawn to this Claudia Roden inspired dish, the roast chicken with saffron, honey and hazelnuts. What a wonderful combination. My mouth was watering when I read the ingredient list. As expected, the whole kitchen was perfumed with the delicate aromas of the chicken baking in its saffron marinade. Not overly sweet, the chicken was well balanced with the roast hazelnuts. Instead of couscous, we dived into the dish with fluffy quinoa instead, a kitchen staple.
The verdict - definitely a keeper recipe that I would make again and again. Give it a try. Incidentally, the saffron tinges the marinade and the juices of the chicken a pale yellow colour - the perfect colour to signify today's momentous Bersih 2.0 rally to seek electoral reforms.
Roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey (4 servings)
1 chicken, divided into rough pieces
2 onions, chopped coarsely
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous pinch of saffron threads (use good quality ones like Spanish)
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
100g unskinned hazelnuts
2 tablespoons rosewater
spring onions (chopped and optional)
In a large bowl, mix chicken and all other ingredients except the hazelnuts, honey, rosewater and spring onions (if using). Leave to marinate for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Roast hazelnuts on a baking tray for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool. Chop coarsely. Place marinated chicken on a baking tray in one row. Pour remaining marinade over chicken. Bake for 35 minutes. In the meantime, mix chopped hazelnuts, honey and rosewater together. Spoon over each piece of chicken after it has been baked for 35 minutes. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve with rice or couscous. Garnish with spring onions. - adapted from the Ottolenghi The Cookbook