Monday, February 22, 2010

Orange Saffron Chicken with Coconut Saffron Risotto

I've been in love with saffron in risotto since Ina's butternut squash risotto. Something about that combination is nothing short of fantastic to me. With a little leftover coconut milk, I was scouring my Google Reader subscriptions for ideas, and came across this dinner from Jenn Cuisine.


 I thought all the flavors in this dish came together nicely.  I especially liked the little bite from the toasted almonds (which I chopped since I didn't have slivered ones) among the soft spinach.  The coconut in the risotto is subtle, or perhaps mine was just overpowered by my heavy handed measure of saffron. ;-)

Coconut-Saffron Risotto
Source: Reworded from Jenn Cuisine
  • 3 tbs. canola oil (EVOO may not mix well w/ coconut flavors)
  • 1 shallot or onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • splash of sherry
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • salt to taste

1. In a pot with a large surface area, saute the onion in oil (med-high) until translucent. Then add in the rice for about 3 min until turns golden. Meanwhile, add coconut milk and broth to a saucepan and start it heating but keep it just under a boil so it is steaming.

2. Add in a splash of sherry to the rice and while stirring, let the sherry get absorbed into the rice.

3. Reduce heat down to medium. Add in 3/4 cup broth and saffron, stirring to let the rice soak up the broth until it is nearly all absorbed.  Repeat with remaining broth until the rice is plump and soft.  Add in salt to taste.

Orange Saffron Chicken with Orange and Almond Spinach
Source:  Jenn Cuisine

  • 2 tbs. canola oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 1 orange
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds

1. Squeeze orange juice (don’t toss the orange just yet!) and saffron in a small pot, and heat for a few minutes (but don’t boil it like crazy, there isn’t much liquid).

2. Take off the burner and let cool a bit to near room temp. Then add the chicken in an airtight container and set in the fridge for a good half hour.

3. Meanwhile, saute the spinach with 2 tbs. canola oil in a skillet on med-high heat. Once wilted, add in meat of orange and toasted almond slices, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from burner and set aside.

4. Using same pan (adding more oil if needed), add chicken and orange/saffron juice to the pan at med-high heat. Saute until chicken is thoroughly cooked and browns on the outside.

To serve, plate risotto on the bottom, then top with spinach and chicken. I garnished with a couple of saffron threads, almond slices, and orange zest.


  1. I'm always looking for new ways to use my saffron. This looks delicious!!

  2. I absolutely loved Ina's butternut squash risotto too! I am so glad that you liked my recipe! Yes the coconut is a bit subtle, but then I am pretty heavy handed with my saffron too - I really liked the blend :) I am so flattered that you made my recipe, and by the way your pic is so much better than mine was!

  3. This looks fantastic! You did a great job of using saffron :)

  4. This really looks delicious. I hope to try it soon.