Spinach & Saffron Chicken Stew | sheerluxe.com

Spinach & Saffron Chicken Stew

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Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cooking Time: 50 Minutes

Serves 4

Ideal if you're entertaining, this dish is subtle, sweet, sour, and earthy. Serve with rice and a green salad and everyone will be asking for seconds.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 chicken thighs, on the bone, skin off
  • 200ml of good-quality chicken stock
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp of saffron strands
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of freshly boiled water
  • 800g of spinach, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of ½ orange, sliced into thin strips
  • 150g of prunes
  • 1½ tbsp of flaked almonds, to garnish

METHOD:

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole pot and fry the onions over a low heat for 25 minutes until they are soft and beginning to caramelise. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.
  2. Turn up the heat and add the chicken. Cook for a few minutes to brown the chicken on all sides. Lower the heat, then add the stock, turmeric, cinnamon, a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Cover with a lid and cook for 35 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make a saffron liquid by grinding the saffron strands with a pinch of sugar using a pestle and mortar and then adding the boiled water. Leave to steep.
  4. In a large pot or wok, cook the spinach over a high heat until it has wilted and then place in a colander to drain. You’ll probably have to do this in a few batches, unless you have an extremely large pot. Let the spinach cool and then squeeze it dry with your hands. Roughly chop and set aside.
  5. After the chicken has been cooking for 35 minutes, add the chopped spinach and the lime and orange juice, along with the orange zest and saffron liquid. Place a lid on the pot and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Fry the prunes in 1 tablespoon of oil until they just start to plump up and caramelise. Add them to the stew and cook for a final 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to your preference. 
  7. Toast some flaked almonds in a small pan over a low heat for 1 minute until they start to go a golden brown colour. Sprinkle the toasted nuts onto the stew just before serving.

 

Recipe courtesy of The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, photography by Matt Russell (Bloomsbury, £26)