Syrian Chicken for Supper

A last minute dinner with old and new friends last weekend called for a scrumptious, hearty dish – one we have only made once before. It did require a quick trip to the supermarket to replenish the spice stores but it was so worth it. You simply must make this dish…..and I think you could do a vegie/vegan option with chickpeas instead of the chicken as the lemon, ginger and saffron are the real crowd pleasers. Let me know what you think!



Karen Martini –  Syrian chicken with ginger, lemon and saffron

2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
size 14-16 free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces
100ml olive oil
2 brown onions, thickly sliced
100g fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
5 cloves garlic, bruised with the back of a knife
2 small red chillies, split
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 pinches saffron threads
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5 sprigs thyme
1 lemon, juiced and zest finely grated
2 tbsp honey
100g currants
2 tbsp vegetable stock powder
1/2 bunch coriander leaves
cooked couscous or rice, to serve
Combine salt, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and turmeric in a large plastic bag.
Add chicken pieces and shake to coat.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based pan over high heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onions, ginger, garlic and chillies to pan and cook for 3 minutes, adding a little more oil, if necessary. Add tomatoes, saffron, cumin seeds and thyme and cook for 2 minutes.
Return chicken to pan and add lemon juice and zest, honey, currants, stock powder and enough water to just cover chicken. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through and sauce is slightly reduced. Stir in coriander. Serve with couscous or rice. Serves 4.