1 (4 lb)
( kosher or sea)
fresh lemon juice
light honey, such as orange flower
saffron, pulverized in a mortar and steeped in 1 tablespoon very hot water
onion, quartered and thinly sliced
lightly toasted sesame seeds
( see Note)
- Quarter chicken, removing backbone. Rinse, pat dry and trim off excess fat.
- Place chicken in an earthenware cazuela that will hold it in one layer, or in an enamel or glass baking dish. Rub chicken all over with salt, cumin, ginger and coriander. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Place lemon juice, 5 teaspoons honey and saffron in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Pour mixture over chicken. Prick chicken all over with tines of a fork, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours, turning several times. Let chicken come to room temperature before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Transfer chicken to a bowl, then scatter onion in cazuela. Place chicken on top of onion and brush it with remaining 1 teaspoon honey and olive oil.
- Bake chicken for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking chicken until it is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes longer. (To avoid overcooking the breast halves, remove them after 30 minutes.).
- Stir in sesame seeds, return breast halves to cazuela and bake for 5 minutes longer. Serve chicken straight from the cazuela.