Saffron & Rosemary Chicken

IMGP3284Just look at that! Isn't it beautiful? It's the combination of a couple different recipes I stumbled across in Sabrina Ghayour's Persiana. It's another beautiful book, that I'd spent hours reading as if it was a novel. Every recipe looked awesome, but I was surprised to see that many of them could be easily tweaked to create a healthier option. All I needed to do with these was swap oil for frylight, and the job was done!

So what we have here is Saffron & Rosemary Chicken, with Turmeric & Cumin Roast Potatoes. I served them on a Watercress, Spinach & Rocket salad, with balsamic and pomegranate seeds... but you don't need a recipe for that part!

The end result is a low-fat, healthy meal that will fill you right up. Oh, and did I mention that it's pretty damn tasty, too?


600g chicken mini-fillets

2 pinches of Saffron threads

15g fresh rosemary

750g baby potatoes, halved or quartered to roughly equal sizes

2 heaped tsp turmeric

3 heaped tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper


garlic infused frylight

This should serve four, but being a glutton, it served just me (twice).


1. Grind the saffron threads in a pestle and mortar, and add 2tbsp of boiling water. Leave it to infuse and cool completely (around 20 minutes).

3. While it's cooling, strip the leaves off the rosemary, and finely chop them.

4. Spray a bowl with the garlic infused frylight, and add the chicken. Give that a good spray, too, then add the rosemary, the saffron water, season well with salt and pepper, and get your hands right in there to give it a good mix.

5. Cover the bowl with clingfilm, and chuck it in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.

6. About 45 minutes before you're ready to eat, spray a roasting dish or baking tray with the unflavoured frylight. Add the potatoes, give them another spray, then add the spices along with plenty salt and pepper. Get your hands in and about them to make sure they're evenly coated, spread them out in a single layer, and stick them in an oven preheated to 200ºc (or 180ºc fan-assisted).

7. After they've been in for about 35 minutes, spray a large frying pan with the garlic infused frylight, and fry the chicken for three or four minutes on each side, until cooked through.

8. Serve with the potatoes and some salad (don't forget the pomegranate seeds!)


Tidy Savings

It's winner winner, chicken dinner, for Tesco this week with their impressive £15.69. This was mainly down to the price of their 600g pack of Chicken mini fillets, and their own Saffron.

Asda claimed second place, quite a way behind, at £16.76.

Morrisons trailed in third at £18.37, not too far ahead of Sainsburys who I awarded £18.50 despite the fact that they should've been disqualified for not carrying the garlic infused frylight. It's also worth noting that their rosemary was extortionate, charging more than the most expensive of the other three, for only 2/3 the size of pack that the others provide. Go home, Sainsbury's, you're drunk.

Tidy Tweaks

The first tweak would be to return both of these to the original recipe - using garlic oil for the chicken, and olive oil for the potatoes.

Speaking of which, despite the garlic infused frylight, I'd have liked this to have been a little stronger in the garlic stakes, so it may be worthwhile adding a couple of cloves of crushed or chopped garlic to the marinade.

I've also tweaked the amount of rosemary. I used twice as much and found it quite overpowering. If you don't like Rosemary at all, just leave it out. The same goes for the Saffron, which certainly is expensive if you're looking to save a little money, too.

Similarly, the potatoes are spicy! For a more delicate flavour, perhaps you could reduce the spice, or maybe try a herbed option instead. And there's very little wrong with plain roast potatoes, or maybe just boiled. Push the boat out and use the saffron to make mashed potato, and serve the chicken (minus the saffron) atop that.


Both of these recipes, in their original form, can be found in Persianaby Sabrina Ghayour.