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Tomato Saffron Chicken Recipe

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


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Tomato Saffron Chicken Recipe

© 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Saffron, orange zest, olives, and wine elevate this easy chicken recipe above the norm. Do not skip the anchovies. You won't be able to taste them, but the recipe becomes just another chicken recipe without them. The chicken with its sauce goes great with rice or pasta. Have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go and this recipe will be a snap to make.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3-1/2 pounds chicken parts (light, dark, or a combination - here I use a quartered whole chicken)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes coarsely chopped OR 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped (reserve juice
  • 1 strip (1 inch x 3 inches) orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or ground chipotle chile pepper powder
  • 2 anchovies rinsed, patted dry and minced or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 15 Nicoise or small Greek olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley


Blot chicken with paper towels and season with kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper.

Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and place chicken pieces skin-side down in hot pan. Cook until golden brown on each side. Remove to a platter and keep warm.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and saute onion, bay leaf, and thyme leaves until onions are soft. Add garlic and saute an additional minute, stirring often.

Carefully stir in white wine, then add saffron. Simmer until thickened and wine has almost completely evaporated, then add the chicken stock. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in tomatoes, orange zest, cayenne pepper, and anchovies.

Return chicken to the pan, placing pieces skin-side up, cover, and gently simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir in olives. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve. Goes great with rice or pasta.

Yield: 4 servings
Tomato Saffron Chicken Recipe Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Amazingly fresh tasting, Member 4angieblue

I made this recipe and served it with Spaghetti Squash and it was delicious! I enjoyed the taste, texture, and how very easy it was to make. I finished the wine while watching the Oscars! Nice! Thanks for this keeper! I'll make this again!

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