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Playing Andalusian-Style Chicken with Saffron and Green Olives


  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins (optional)
  • A fat pinch of saffron (24 to 30 threads)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, preferably organic, halved crosswise
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, preferably organic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup sherry or 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup top-quality, pitted, green Spanish olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, plus the juice of half an orange (about 1/4 cup)
  • A fat handful flat-leaf parsley and a small handful mint, chopped together
  • Warm crusty bread, for mopping


Serves: 6-8


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the nuts on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring once or twice, until deep golden, about 8 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock, raisins, if using, and saffron, over low heat; let steep while you make the chicken.

Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, four turns of the pan, over medium-high. Working in batches if necessary, cook the chicken, turning once, until browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet; season. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the sherry and bring to a simmer. Add the olives, orange juice and zest, and saffron stock. Slide the chicken and any juices back into the skillet. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 5-7 minutes more.

Serve the chicken in shallow bowls topped with the herbs and almonds. Serve with the bread alongside for mopping.