Chicken With Caramelised Baby Onions and Pears

READY IN: 1hr 10mins




  • Melt the butter in a non-stick pan over a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and sauté the pear quarters until they are lightly coloured, then set aside.
  • Blanch the eschalots or baby onions in boiling water for 5 minutes, and drain. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the eschalots and trim the root ends.
  • Sauté the eschallots in a little sunflower oil, in a non-stick pan (you can use the same pan as you used to sauté the pears) over a medium heat, shaking the pan and turning the eschalots until they are browned and caramelized on all sides.
  • Remove the eschalots from the pan and drain them on paper kitchen towelling.
  • Add 3-4 tablespoons of oil to a casserole pot large enough to include the chicken pieces, pears and eschalots, and sauté the chopped onion over a medium heat until it begins to soften; then add the chicken pieces and lightly brown them on all sides. Season to taste.
  • Add 1 cup of water, and stir in the saffron threads, ginger and cinnamon, and cook, covered, over a low heat, turning the pieces over several times, for 10-15 minutes or until the breasts are cooked.
  • Remove the breasts, set aside and keep warm.
  • Add the caramelised eschalots to the pot.
  • If the pear quarters are still firm (see also step 14), add them to the pot now and continue to cook, covered, over a low heat, for 25 minutes or until the remaining chicken pieces are very tender, turning occasionally, and adding a little more water if it is needed.
  • Lift the chicken pieces out, set aside with the breasts, and keep warm.
  • Stir the honey into the pot and check the seasoning. You will need quite a bit of pepper to balance the sweetness.
  • Cook uncovered to reduce the sauce if necessary, until the sauce has the consistency of thick jam.
  • Return all the chicken pieces to the pot and heat through.
  • If the pears were soft enough after they were sautéed, add them at this point. A few minutes heating should be enough.
  • If you are serving this dish with blanched almonds, lightly toast the almonds under the grill or dry sauté them in a non-stick pan (or you can add a drop of oil).
  • Serve over rice, noodles or couscous.