We chose locally-grown saffron in this dish (see harvesting saffron in Cotignac) as a lot of folk aren’t sure how to use this fab spice. There are two parts to this recipe, which makes a wonderful main course. Pair with a glass of dry crisp rosé, for that feeling of eating outside in the South of France.
For the saffron chicken you will need:
- two chicken thighs/drums per person, skin on and bone in
- a pinch of saffron strands
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 200 ml dry white wine
- a good slug of olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- 1/4 – 1/2 lb green beans cut in half
Boil the kettle and preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
Take your chicken thighs and, using a pair of scissors, trim off any excess fat. Sprinkle the skin side with salt.
Take a good pinch of saffron threads and place in a teacup. Half fill the teacup or small mug with water from the kettle which has come off the boil and leave to infuse. Tip: using saffron without this method of ‘blooming’ can lead to irregular, disappointing results.
Pour a generous slug (a couple of tablespoons) of olive oil into an ovenproof shallow casserole dish (one which comes with a lid).
Heat to a medium heat and gently fry the peeled whole garlic cloves on each side until pale golden. Remove and set aside. They have a sweet, mild flavour when cooked whole this way, not at all strong.
Turn the heat to a high temperature and fry the chicken thighs to seal, skin side down until pale golden, turn and seal on the other side.
Turn so that the skin side is up again. Turn the heat down to a medium heat. Pour the white wine in to the pan. It will spit and sizzle. Shake the pan so that the oil and white wine emulsify.
Spoon the infused saffron and water over the thighs, adding the threads too.
Return the golden garlic cloves to the pan.
Place the ovenproof lid or tin foil on the pan and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, until the chicken comes away from the bone easily.
Half way through cooking add the green beans.
Serve the saffron chicken in its oven proof dish with all the lovely, creamy juices.
Optional: sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.
For the potatoe and courgette bake, you will need:
- 250ml cream
- 500g potatoes
- 1-2 courgette
- black pepper & pinch of salt
Peel the potatoes and the courgette (if desired) and thinly slice.
Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish and season with pepper and a small pinch of salt. Then, alternate layers of courgette slices and potato slices, seasoning every layer as you go, adding parsley as well.
Pour over the cream until 2/3 of the veggies are covered.
Cook for 20-30 mins, until potatoes and courgettes are cooked through.