One-pot chicken with fragrant saffron rice

One-pot chicken with fragrant saffron rice

Under the Walnut Tree
Fanny Bergenström

Although this recipe contains several steps, none of them is difficult and they all result in a comforting Middle Eastern-inspired dish.


Quantity Ingredient
350g basmati rice
50g almonds, blanched and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil, for the rice
2 litres water mixed with 1 teaspoon salt
15-20 saffron threads
200ml boiling water
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6-8 chicken thighs
1 large onion, roughly chopped
50g sultanas
10 whole green cardamom pods
1 small cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 fresh bay leaves


  1. Pour the basmati rice into a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Soak the rice for 1 hour in a saucepan with plenty of cold water.
  2. Toast the almonds on a baking tray in a 200°C oven for about 8 minutes, or until nicely coloured. Tip the almonds onto a plate and set aside. Rinse the soaked basmati rice once more in a fine sieve.
  3. Pour the oil, 2 litres of water and salt into a heavy-based pot, add the rice and bring to the boil. Set aside and let stand for 5 minutes. Carefully pour out the excess water not absorbed by the rice. The rice should now be half-cooked; set it aside for now.
  4. Next, grind the saffron in a mortar and mix it with the boiling water. Set it aside.
  5. Heat a frying pan with the butter and oil and brown the chicken thighs over medium heat. Cook the chicken until nicely browned all over, and gradually transfer the pieces and cooking juices to the rice pot. Add the chopped onion, sultanas, toasted almonds and whole spices as well. Season with salt and drizzle over the saffron water, but don’t stir (this will give the rice pretty yellow stripes).
  6. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, over very low heat for about 35 minutes. Dot with a few knobs of butter and garnish with the bay leaves. If you like, serve some thick natural yoghurt on the side.
Under the Walnut Tree
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