Chicken with Almonds and Saffron

Simmered in a creamy almond and sherry sauce, this Spanish chicken dish is spiced with saffron and a pinch of cinnamon.


Pinch saffron threads
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup whole almonds
Olive oil, as needed
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 thick slice of bread, cut in cubes (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch cloves
8 chicken thighs, bone-in (skin-on or skinless)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 large onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Splash of lemon juice, or to taste
Handful sliced almonds, toasted
Paprika, for garnishing
Steamed rice, for serving


Combine saffron and sherry and steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Toast almonds in a 350 degree F. oven until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Add 3 tbsp. olive oil to small frying pan over medium heat, add garlic slices and bread cubes. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bread is golden brown and garlic is soft and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Add almonds to blender and pulse until ground. Add garlic and bread mixture, the sherry and saffron mixture, 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, cinnamon and cloves. Purée until smooth. Add more stock or sherry if mixture is too thick. Set aside.

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Add 3 tbsp. olive to skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook until well browned on both sides and almost cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Add onions and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Stir in sauce and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and cover. Simmer, stirring frequently and adding more chicken stock or water if sauce is too thick. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add lemon juice and chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds. Garnish with paprika. Serve with rice.

Yield: 4 servings.