Saffron Chicken with Dates and Saffron Rice

This simple supper (Cooking Light, 2004) is transformed with North African staples into a meal that is beyond delicious!

Photo by Bruce Barone.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed and divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 6 whole pitted dates, quartered
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Lemon wedges (optional)(I used them over chicken and rice; yum!~)

Preparation

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, and sauté 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  • Add onion, 1/8 teaspoon saffron, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in reserved chicken, tomato juice, and dates; cover. Reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes. Uncover; cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; keep warm.
  • Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon saffron, 2 cups water, and rice in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Serve the chicken mixture over rice mixture. Garnish with sliced green onions and lemon wedges, if desired.