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Ottolenghi’s Roast Chicken with Saffron, Hazelnuts and Honey

We use the fabulous organic chickens from Regans Organic Farm in the Cookery School. We also sell them in our Farm Shop at the School.


Serves 6-8

8 large organic or free-range chicken thighs

2 onions, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons (5 American tablespoons) olive oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

a generous pinch of saffron strands

juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons (5 American tablespoons) cold water

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

100g (3 1/2oz) unskinned hazelnuts

70g (2 1/2oz) honey

1-2 tablespoons (1 1/2 - 2 1/2 American tablespoons) rosewater depending on strength of rosewater

2 spring onions, sliced at an angle

sprigs of coriander

Mix the chicken pieces with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice and water in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas Mark 6.

Spread the hazelnuts out on an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Chop roughly and set aside.

Reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°f/Gas Mark 4.

Transfer the chicken and marinade to a roasting tray just large enough to accommodate everything comfortably.  Arrange the chicken pieces skin side up and put the tray in the oven for about 35 minutes or until nearly cooked.

While the chicken is roasting, mix the honey, rosewater and nuts together to make a rough paste.  Remove the chicken from the oven, spoon a generous amount of nut paste on to each piece and spread it to cover.  Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown.

Transfer the chicken, the juices and toasted nuts to a serving dish and garnish with the sliced spring onions and coriander leaves.

Note: If you are doing half the recipe, choose an oven-proof dish or tray just large enough to accommodate the chicken in a single layer.

This is a recipe by
Darina Allen
View all my recipes

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