Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chicken with Apples and Saffron

Photo by Adi Ziv-Av

This recipe was first made while we were still living in Forest Hills, New York, seven years ago. The thought of celebrating the Jewish New Year was a culinary challenge for me. I wanted to gather apples, saffron, chicken and even some honey and nuts. With some inspiration of Moroccan flavors and Indian marinades, I made a fusion and the result became a tradition in my family.

As I usually do every year, I keep changing  the recipe slightly.  Gravenstein was the choice for apples, no dried fruits were in the marinade, chicken was the best ever from Mary's Free Range, and instead of couscous we had some purple potatoes with capers and cranberry beans.  

Apple Saffron Chicken

The yogurt marinade is the key to success with the chicken texture. I used a low-fat organic natural yogurt from Trader Joe's and that worked perfectly. This year I tested mashed papaya as main marinade ingredient instead of yogurt. The result was equally delicious.
A good saffron also helps. This year I found a very good one by Morton and Basset from Novato, California. 

2 cups apple juice
12- 14 saffron threads
2 cups of your favorite mixed dry fruit
6 tablespoons low-fat natural yogurt
kosher salt to taste
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, cut in cubes
3 pounds chicken breasts, butterflied
1 pound chicken thigh filets, fat removed
2 medium Pink Lady apples, thinly sliced
Your favorite honey to drizzle the apples

Warm apple juice and add saffron (and dried fruit, if used) . Reserve for later. In a big bowl whisk together yogurt (or papaya)  salt, olive oil and onion. Immerse chicken pieces and marinade overnight or a minimum of 2 hours.
Heat large skillet over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; reserve marinade. Sear each piece of chicken, being careful to just bring the meat to the surface. If not using a ovenproof skillet, transfer the seared meat to a ovenproof dish. Cover with reserved marinade, and use the slices of apple as a top layer on the dish, to work as a lid. Bake in oven for 25 minutes at 375F. Serve hot. Ideal sides are salads, couscous and rice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The recipy is great, and I loved that you wrote: "As I usually do every year, I keep changing the recipe slightly."
It shows the creative cook you are. As a good jazz improviser, you keep the main theme while you find new ways to go about it! The final "music" is always nice and surprising!



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