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Chicken With Almonds And Saffron

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Chicken With Almonds And Saffron

Almonds are an important cash crop in Malaga Province in Andalucia. Each night in Malaga we would stop for tapas at Cafe Central and the almond seller would appear at dusk with his rickety-wheeled trolley loaded with freshly roasted and salted almonds. Perfect with our fino or Spanish beer as we sat to watch the locals and tourists stroll the plaza. This dish is wonderful served with fluffy white rice and a salad or fresh greens.


  • ¼ tsp (about 8) saffron threads
  • 1 cup hot chicken stock
  • 6 tblsp oil (preferably olive)
  • ¼ cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley sprigs
  • 2 tblsp ground almonds
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon grated rind and juice
  • 1 medium or large chicken
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry sherry


  1. Sprinkle the saffron over the hot stock and set aside.
  2. Heat 4 tblsp oil in a lidded frying pan or heat-proof casserole. Add the bread and garlic and cook until the crumbs and garlic are toasted but not burnt. Transfer to a food processor .
  3. Add the saffron and stock, parsley, almonds, spices, lemon juice and rind and process until smooth.
  4. Joint the chicken into 8-10 even pieces. Heat the remaining oil in a lidded frying pan. Add chicken and brown evenly on all sides.
  5. Add the onion and sherry and cook until the sherry has reduced by half. Add the almond paste and chicken stock and stir together gently.
  6. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

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