This light, warming stew takes about half an hour and uses the humble chicken thigh to glorious effect. Every time I have it, I think I could quite happily live off thighs only for the rest of my life. Once upon a time I served it with couscous, but now I like it with roasted squash, or baked sweet potatoes.
Sweet and Spicy Saffron Chicken
Soften a finely chopped banana shallot and a minced garlic clove in olive oil. Season half a dozen skinless, boneless chicken thighs with good salt and black pepper and then add them to the pan with the onion and garlic. Brown the chicken, and add a chopped red chilli, or half a teaspoon of hot chilli powder, and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir to combine, and then pour in half a pint of hot chicken stock with a pinch of saffron strands steeped in it. Finally, throw in a couple of soft dried apricots, cut into halves, and turn the pan down to a low simmer for about 20 minutes.
Once the thighs are cooked through, remove them to a warm place and turn the heat up again to reduce the sauce. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and a handful of chopped coriander, and season again. Serve the thighs with the sauce poured over the top.
Sometimes in my excitement, I forget the lemon and coriander at the end. It works just as well without, but do try and remember. And please be generous with the saffron.