The sweet buttery flavour of hazelnuts is intensified when roasted and complements the meaty, richness of chicken legs and thighs. Ottolenghi’s hazelnut chicken recipe is based on an almond chicken in Claudia Roden’s book Tamarind and Saffron so this recipe can be made with almonds too. I so love the hazelnut version that I have yet to try Claudia’s original dish.
Roast Chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey from Ottolenghi, The Cookbook
4 chicken thighs, 4 chicken legs
2 onions, roughly chopped,
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large pinch of saffron strands
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp cold water
2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
100g unskinned hazelnuts
2 tbsp rosewater
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
1. Mix chicken pieces with the chopped onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, pepper and salt. Leave to marinate in the fridge for over an hour – or overnight in the fridge.
2. Roast the hazelnuts on an oven tray for 10 minutes at 180C – chop roughly.
3. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, in a roasting tray and roast for 35 minutes.
4. Mix the honey, rosewater and nuts to create a rough paste. Spread the paste over the partially roasted chicken and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes, until the chicken thoroughly cooked and nuts are golden brown.
Ottolenghi suggests garnishing with spring onions but going for a larger, subtler member of the onion family is more exciting. The grilled roasted leeks from ‘The real meal revolution’ are a find! Sweetly buttery they were a brilliant accompaniment for the chicken. The triple cooking method, first blanching then grilling and finally roasting ensures that the leeks are perfectly cooked. Soft in the middle, slightly caramelised on the outside with a perfect butteriness!
The chicken and leeks are rather too indulgent on their own so the green beans with red sauce offset the sweet richness and made the meal feel delightful fresh and healthy.
Recipe for Green Beans, Red Sauce from Nigel Slater’s ‘Tender’ Volume 1 …
Grilled Leeks from ‘Real Meal Revolution’ Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, Jonno Proudfoot, David Grier