Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
From "The Sephardic Kitchen" by Rabbi Robert Sternberg. This dish is a specialty of the Moroccan Jews. The sweetness of the honey and the cinnamon strengthens the heady aroma of the saffron, which colors the sauce bright orange rather than red like the tomatoes. The use of chicken breasts, rather than a whole chicken in this recipe, is nontraditional. *Update-I made this but over-cooked it. I think it would be better with chicken on the bone but if you use cutlets, don't overcook when browning. It smells fantastic!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken cutlets (8)
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
- 10 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded, can use 2 (24 ounce)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon saffron thread, dissolved in
- 1⁄4 cup boiling chicken stock
- 1⁄3 cup honey, citrus honey is best
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 piece fresh gingerroot, peeled, about 1-inch
- 1⁄2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a deep, wide saute pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides and set aside.
- Saute the onions in the same oil until soft and translucent (5-7 minutes). Reduce the heat and deglaze with 1/2 cup chicken stock, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften, stirring every once in a while. Add the saffron and honey. Stir well to dissolve. Add the cinnamon sticks and gingerroot.
- Return the chicken breasts to the pot, making sure they are covered with sauce. Turn the heat down to simmer and cover the pan with foil. Then cover it with its lid. Cook 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer or toothpick into the meat. If juice runs yellow meat is done.
- While the chicken is cooking, toast the almonds by cooking them in a dry cast-iron skillet over medium heat or on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees until nicely browned.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks and gingerroot before serving. The tomatoes will have dissolved into a nice sauce. Pass the sauce through a sieve to smooth it out before serving. If you used canned tomatoes, this has the added advantage of removing the seeds. Serve one chicken breast per person, covered with some of the sauce and sprinkled with toasted almonds.
- Serve this dish with couscous or saffron rice pilaf.