Saffron chicken with chickpeas and almonds

Moroccan dish where the almonds are intended to soften. Serves 4-6. Note two stage onion method: First onion cooked to dissolve with meat; second onion retains shape.


  1. up to about 1.8kg chicken/li>
  2. 2 tbsps butter
  3. 3 medium onions
  4. 1/4 teaspoon of crushed saffron threads or powdered saffron (optional)
  5. 1/2 cup of chickpeas soaked overnight or 450g can of chickpeas
  6. 1tsp of ground cinnamon or more
  7. pepper
  8. 3/4 cup of blanched almonds
  9. salt
  10. 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  11. juice of half a lemon


Put the chicken, butter and one finely chopped onion in a large pan and cover with water. Add saffron, cinnamon and pepper. Bring to the boil.

Add soaked chickpeas (NOT canned ones – they go in later) and almonds and simmer for 1.5 hours until chickpeas are soft and the chicken is very tender. add more water if necessary.

Lift out the chicken and cut into serving pieces.

add the rest of the finely chopped onions, parsley and canned chickpeas and boil slowly for about 15 mins or unti the onions are soft and sauce is considerably reduced.

Return the chicken to the sauce and heat through.

To serve arrange chicken on a serving dish, cover with chickpeas and almonds and sauce and squeeze lemon juice over the dish.

Variations (1) use dried black-eyed peas or haricot or navy beans instead of chickpeas; or (2) have twice the amount of almonds and no chickpeas.


One comment

  1. Few mistakes here: tried to use normal roasted almonds instead of non roasted ones that you blanch and probably remove the skin; probably didn’t use a whole chicken; used tinned chickpeas that are probably not as good. Sounds better than it probably is but maybe worth another try.


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