Made This Recipe? Add Your Photo
North African in spirit, this dish is easy enough for weeknight cooking but impressive enough to serve to guests. Note the sauté-and-roast technique used to prepare the chicken, which results in crisp skin and juicy meat. Contrast the strong, sweet, spicy and salty notes in the relish with a fruity, medium-weight Zinfandel. Look for the 1997 Eberle Paso Robles Sauret Vineyard or the 1998 Ridge Sonoma Station.
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup onion, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 saffron threads
- 2 cups chicken stock or 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- fresh ground pepper
- 3 1⁄2 lbs chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons green olives, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, coarsely chopped (plus more for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and saffron and cook over moderate heat until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces by three-quarters and becomes syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the pieces skin side down and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced.
- Remove the cinnamon stick from the sauce. Add the olives and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with pepper. Rewarm the sauce over low heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and the 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro. Arrange the chicken on plates and spoon the sauce around it. Garnish with cilantro and serve.