Moroccan Roast Chicken With Saffron, Hazelnuts, and Honey

READY IN: 1hr 5mins
Recipe by Annacia

This dish is inspired by a recipe from Claudia Roden's classic book, Tamarind and Saffron (Viking, 1999). It's a favorite: it is easy to make, yet looks stunning, and has the most delicate and exotic combination of flavors (rose water, saffron, and cinnamon), which takes you straight to the famous Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech. Serve with rice or plain couscous. Marinating time is not included. Personal Note: If you are unfamiliar with rose water you may want to start by using a half amount.

Top Review by COOKGIRl

Exotic, unusual, delicious, elegant chicken! I subbed close to 2 pounds of chicken thighs and breasts.The hazelnuts (Oregon grown!) were dry roasted in a cast iron skillet.To avoid burning the honey (local honey!)/nut mixture I pounded out the chicken first then marinated. You'll need that green onion garnish because there is much flavor but very little color going on. Served over simple Persian rice (with the crust on the bottom!) and seasonal steamed veggies: corn, green beans, cauliflower. Made for El Pollo-September/Spain forum.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with the onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt, and pepper. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  3. Transfer the chicken and marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate everything comfortably. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side up and put the pan in the oven for about 35 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is roasting, mix the honey, rose water, and nuts together to make a rough paste, the food processor will do this nicely. Remove the chicken from the oven, spoon a generous amount of nut paste onto each piece, and spread it to cover. Return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are golden brown.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped green onions.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a