Wow! What a whirlwind month it has been! Adam and I got married almost a month ago exactly, school and work (for Adam) began two weeks ago, and my poor little blog has truly seen busier days. For our wedding, we gave out party favors of my favorite spice mix: Baharat. After making 150+ jars of it, it took about a month to warm up to the spice again. For those of you out there who received one, this is a fantastic way to get acquainted with the spice!
This recipe comes from an incredible cookbook we were given as a present: The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. WOWZER. I love it! This recipe requires such few ingredients, albeit saffron isn’t always just…layin’ around, is really easy to prepare, and when you pull it out of the oven and the honey is just slightly sizzling the tops of the chicken breasts it’s truly divine. This recipe called for rosewater, but alas, no one in my life is much of a fan of it. I think it’d be incredible in this dish, but I’ll have to pull out the rosewater for guests, I suppose, since my *husband* doesn’t like it. Definitely give this recipe a shot! It’s even better reheated the next day!
Lovingly adapted from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
What you need:
1 large onion; chopped
2 lbs chicken breasts
2 tblsp vegetable oil + a tiny bit more
1 heaping tsp baharat spice
salt & pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon
pretty good pinch of saffron threads
3/4 c salted almonds; chopped
3 tblsp honey
3-4 small golden potatoes; quartered (*For Rosh HaShanah cooking, try apple slices instead!)
How to do it:
*Note: my oven isn’t fantastic. I think for most of you, cooking the chicken with the potatoes will work out and the potatoes won’t be hard. I had to cook my chicken + potatoes covered for an additional 15 minutes to really get through the potatoes. Make a judgment call. You can cook the potatoes first while the chicken is in the pan and then just add the chicken to that dish and throw it into the oven. I’m going to do that next time.
If you are making this recipe for Rosh HaShanah, I suggest trying apple slices instead of potatoes (I haven’t done this, but it sounds delicious, right?). I’d add them during the last 10 minutes or so of baking so they don’t become apple-saucey.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pan, saute the onions over low heat, stirring occasionally. When they soften and become translucent, add the baharat and mix well so there are no clumps. Add the chicken. Add water until the chicken is just covered. Add the salt, pepper, saffron, and lemon juice and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
While that is simmering, chop your almonds and combine with the honey. Set aside.
Lift the chicken pieces out and arrange them in a large shallow baking dish. Quickly toss your potatoes with oil, salt and pepper and then fit them into the spaces. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and potatoes. Spread the honey + almond mixture over the chicken pieces as best you can. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Enjoy!