Friday, January 31, 2014

Spanish Saffron and Capers Chicken


I simply love saffron, the color and flavor it imparts is uniquely it's own. It is referred to as the most expensive spice in the world and it is easy to see why. The tiny little threads that make up the saffron come from the purple crocus flower. Can you believe that one acre yields only one pound of these beautiful fiery red threads? Speaking of saffron, I was thinking about the last time I was in Spain, and my mom's friend, Nena, served us this dish that was infused with the flavors of Spain, hot smoked paprika, capers and saffron.  It was absolute heaven. Whats more it was so easy to make and it's a dish you can make in about 30 minutes. She served it with my very favorite crusty Spanish bread ... perfect for sopping up the warm spicy sauce.

Serves 2-4

1 pound chicken breast*, chopped into medium chunks, salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions sliced
4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup white wine
1-2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2"
1  15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 generous teaspoon saffron threads
2 teaspoons capers
1 1/2  teaspoons caper brine
1  teaspoons hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon salt, divided in half
2 laurel leaves
Black pepper to taste

Heat up large skillet over medium heat, add  oil followed by the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté onions over medium low heat for 8 -10 minutes, till lightly browned. Add garlic, cooking an additional 3 minutes. Remove onions from pan and set aside.

Working in batches lightly brown chicken breasts chunks on all sides. Add wine to deglaze pan, scraping bottom of pan to release flavor bits. Add chicken back to the pan and all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil for one minute then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or till fork easily splits potatoes. Remove laurel leaves before serving.

Serve with crusty bread or fluffy white rice, a light tomato and cucumber salad with a simple olive oil and white wine vinegar dressing and a glass of dry white wine. Enjoy!

*Recipe Notes:
Whenever I have the opportunity to brine chicken breast, you better believe I take it. So, yes, I did brine this chicken breast. If you have time take advantage of what brining can do  by adding juicy tenderness to your chicken breast. Click here to read more on brining.


  1. Looks delicious! The colors are appetizing!

    1. Let me know if you make it and like it.

  2. Delicious recipe Jackie! We actually called the saffron here Krokos (from the crocus flower you mention) :) Since you love and can appreciate saffron, if you can find a way, get some Kozani Krokos, it's the best quality you can get! (we must have mentioned that before, if yes, please excuse us, it's just that we love this stuff) :)

    1. Thank you Little CookingTips! I adore saffron and will look for the brand you recommended at a local greek specialty market and if they don't carry it i have no doubt that e-Bay carries it :-D