Moroccan Chicken with Saffron Honey

Bring elegant North African spice flavours to a chicken casserole with orange flower water
By Diana Henry
Moroccan Chicken with Saffron Honey
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 X 1.7 KG chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 800 g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 275 ml chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 tsp strands saffron
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) honey
  • 1 tsp orange flower water
  • 25 g blanched flaked almonds, toasted
  • small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • couscous or flatbreads, to serve


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Season the chicken pieces and quickly brown them on all sides. Set the chicken aside and cook the onion in the same pan until soft and just colouring. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon and ginger, cooking for about a minute. Tip in the tomatoes, mix everything together well, turn down the heat, and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.

2. Boil the water or stock and dissolve the saffron in it. Pour this over the vegetables and bring the whole thing up to the boil. Set the chicken pieces on top, together with any juices that have leached out of them, and spoon the liquid over them. Turn down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is tender - it should take about 30 minutes but check after 25 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken pieces, set them aside, cover and keep warm. Now bring the juices to the boil and simmer until well reduced to a kind of 'cream' - it shouldn't be at all sloppy. Add the honey and continue to cook until well reduced and jam-like. Check the seasoning and add the orange flower water. Put the chicken pieces back and warm them through in the sauce.

4. Serve with a sprinkling of toasted almonds and chopped coriander on top and couscous or flat bread on the side.

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