This is a little recipe that I found on-line recently. Naturally I couldn’t bring it before you unless I’d tried it out, and changed it a bit, so it’s become our dinner this evening..
If you’ve never used Saffron, you’ll be utterly shocked by the price of it, and what you actually get for your money. I paid £2.10 today for a portion that you probably couldn’t weigh unless you had specialist scales.
However, I use it so rarely that it’s worth having it on my spice rack for the rare occasions that a recipe requires it. (https://eatingforireland.com/recipe/lamb-shanks-rogan-josh/ )
It has a subtle musky scent and flavour but it also adds an amazing golden colour to anything you cook in it. This recipe uses skinless, boneless Chicken thighs; which I like, but Mr Saturday Night doesn’t. You could use Chicken breasts instead, and reduce the cooking time. I probably will try it that way, but tonight I’m using the chicken thighs. I’d suggest 2-3 per person, depending on size.
- Small measuring jug.
- Frying pan with lid, (or use a lid made out of Foil)
- Small saucepan
- weighing scales.
INGREDIENTS: For 4 people..
- 2-3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs per person
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into half-moons
- A pinch of Saffron stamens
- 60mls of boiling water
- the juice of 1-2 large oranges (150ml)
- 250ml hot Chicken stock
- 220g uncooked Bulgar wheat
- Put 60mls of boiling water into a cup and add the Saffron – it will start to change colour almost immediately. Leave to one side.
- Put the orange juice and the chicken stock into the saucepan and reduce until it measures 200mls (that takes about 10 minutes, boiling hard). Put it aside as well.
- Heat a tablespoonful of oil (I use rapeseed) and add the onions.
- Cook the onions gently until they’re soft and golden but not browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Season each side of the chicken with salt and black pepper.
- Add oil if needed and add the chicken pieces.
- Cook on both sides for 7 or so minutes each until lightly browned.
- Sprinkle over the onions.
- Pour over the water containing the Saffron (it will be a gorgeous golden colour by now) Rinse the cup with a little extra water if there are any Saffron strands left (remember, it costs a fortune! ) and mix it all in.
- Add the reduced orange juice/stock mixture.
- Make sure everything’s well mixed, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer it for 20 minutes.
- Turn over the chicken – it will be a lovely golden colour – and see how the sauce is.
- Add in the 220g of Bulgar wheat – if any of the chicken pieces get dried Bulgar grains on them, just turn them over so that all the Bulgar has a chance to cook in the liquid.
- Cover and leave for 15 minutes, then check to see if the Bulgar is cooked.
- Check the seasoning.
- Serve in bowls with some flatbread.
- Serve with some spring onions sprinkled over; or some fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped.
- This is one of those ‘everything-in-one-pan’ recipes which are so handy. I didn’t find this difficult to watch at all, as long as you keep the pan just at simmering point.
- I served this with a small green side-salad and toasted flatbread.
- The Saffron has a slightly strange flavour – you mightn’t be able to identify what it is, but it certainly makes it interesting.
- The orange juice gives a lovely flavour to the Bulgar.
- I served it before all the liquid was absorbed – I prefer it to be moist, rather than dry.
- If the Bulgar needs more cooking but you’re short of sauce – just add up to a cupful of boiling water and stir it in.