Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Orange-Saffron Chicken

When my mom throws a party, she always, always, ALWAYS makes so much food that it would make your head spin. This year was no different. She served lamb, brisket, and this chicken for our Passover Seder. I've made this for Seders past because everyone loves chicken and this version feels very special. Saffron is a spice that is used often in Spanish cooking and comes from a flower bud. Harvesting saffron is a very involved processes, which makes this spice rather expensive. That is what makes it nice for a special occasion. It works beautifully with the orange juice and zest. They compliment each other and you can taste both flavors in the meat. This would be a great dinner any time because you marinate it overnight in the fridge and then cook it up in the oven when you get home. It is ready in about 90 minutes. It will be beautiful and perfectly moist and delicious.
Orange Saffron Chicken
1 chicken (6-7 lbs.)
3 oranges
1/4 tsp. saffron
1/4 cup warm water
3 cloves garlic
3 green onions
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Grate the zest of one orange into a large freezer baggie and squeeze the juice of all three oranges into the bag.
2. To prepare the saffron, put the saffron into a cup with the warm water so that they flavors are released. This should take 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the saffron and water into the freezer bag, along with 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 3 Tbs. olive oil, coarsely chopped garlic and green onions. I also tossed in one of the orange peels (from one that I'd squeezed out the juice). I chopped the orange into large chunks.
4. We've gone over the finer points of butterflying a chicken a few times. You want to butterfly the chicken, wash it thoroughly, and add the chicken to the bag. Shake it around so that everything is distributed.
Let this marinate in the fridge overnight.

5. Remove the chicken from the bag and lay it flat on a rimmed baking dish. Add 1/4 cup white wine to the dish so that nothing burns. Sprinkle the top with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour and a half until the top is golden and the chicken is cooked through.
Carve it up and serve!

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