Chicken with Saffron and Dukkah

This flavorful chicken can be made as is with chicken breast or with chicken on the bone as the original recipe was made. Because of the liquid it is a good recipe to make ahead and reheat and it sits well for a Friday night dinner. The flavor varies based on the kind of olives used, but the saffron adds a real nice warmth to the dish and it goes really well with a Spanish or Moroccan rice.


  • Prep Time : 15 min
  • Cook Time : 25 min
  • Ready Time : 40 min


6 Servings


  • 4 large carrots, cut into quarters vertically
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 tablespon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 3/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

Pistachoi Dukkah

  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus 4 lemon wedges for garnish


1. Sprinkle chicken all over with paprika and salt and half of the oil. Heat the other half of the oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken. Cook until it browns, 5 minutes, then flip and cook 3 minutes more. Remove chicken from Dutch oven and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, place saffron in a small bowl, cover with white wine and let sit until saffron softens, 5 minutes.

3. Stir carrots, onions, garlic, olives and bay leaves into Dutch oven and season with salt. Cook over high heat until vegetables soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook until it coats vegetables, 1 minute.

4. Return chicken to pot. Add saffron-wine mixture. Bring liquid to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover pot. Braise chicken until cooked through, about 12 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, make dukkah: In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast pistachios, shaking often, 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to a food processor. Add remaining spices and ½ teaspoon salt to skillet and toast until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Transfer spices to food professor and pulse everything together until a coarse mixture forms.

6.  Season braising liquid with salt and lemon juice to taste. To serve, divide vegetables among four bowls and top with chicken. Spoon braising liquid over top and garnish with dukkah, chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

This recipe was adapted from a Chicken with Olives recipe I found in the Wall Street Journal.