13 August 2013

Ottolenghi’s Roast Chicken with Hazelnuts, Honey & Saffron - IHCC

This week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs it is all about nuts.  I do love a nut, all sorts of nuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans & I usually have some almonds to hand to snack on. Sweet or savoury I really like them any which way.  My favourite though would be the earthy & elegant hazelnut*.  A little toasty, a little buttery & ever so delicious.

I was flicking through the Ottolenghi app, in a spare moment, & I came across this little delight, inspired by a Claudia Roden recipe in her book Tamarind & Saffron.   The exotic combination of rosewater, saffron & cinnamon was too tempting to resist not to mention the topping of hazelnuts; roasted & mixed with honey & rosewater.  Immediately I drifted off & I could imagine all those fragrant aromas that would be emanating from the oven & wafting through this kitchen....

*Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are a healthy option. They are rich in protein, complex carbs, fibre, iron, calcium & vitamin E. They are also very low in sodium & sugar & contain no cholesterol. Over 80% of the total fat in hazelnuts is mono-unsaturated. So they are a super healthy snack!

Ottolenghi’s Roast Chicken with Hazelnuts, Honey & Saffron

For the chicken

1 chicken cut in to pieces, thighs, legs, breasts or do as I did & buy the pieces.
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of saffron threads 
Juice of a lemon
Salt & pepper

For the hazelnut paste
100g hazelnuts, lightly roasted and chopped roughly
70g honey
2 tbsp rosewater*

*I was so sure I had some rosewater lurking in the pantry, but on a good look; no.  So for a hint of the exotic I added orange blossom water instead. Granted it is a little different from the prescribed rosewater but still that sweet, fragrant, perfumey aroma that whisks you off to far off exotic lands.


In a large dish mix the chicken pieces with the onion, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour, or overnight, in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F & transfer the chicken and the marinade to a roasting dish large enough to accommodate everything in a single layer cook for 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the hazelnuts, honey and rosewater together to make a paste. Remove the chicken from the oven & spoon the hazelnut paste onto the chicken pieces. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are a toasty golden brown colour.  The juices will run clear when cooked through.

If you like you can transfer to a serving platter or if you are going rustic serve straight from the roasting pan. Serve over rice or couscous or even a little of this celeriac puree as I did.

Golden, toasty, buttery & fragrant this is a perfect winter warmer that will whisk you off to warmer, more exotic climes for just a little while.

If you like this you might like this Chicken, Fennel & Orange Casserole
Three years ago Island Time Part One



  1. An interesting paste using hazelnuts! Now I am ever so curious how it would taste with the roasted chicken. The dish does look delicious! I have an unopened bottle of rose water in my pantry!
    I love nuts but most of the nuts are pretty pricey over here!

    1. Yes the hazelnuts are pretty pricey here too! But this is a lovely dish, a little exotic & a little warming :)

  2. The flavours of this sound wonderfully exotic. I can imagine the orange blossom water working very well with the other ingredients in place of the rose water.

    1. Thanks Zosia, the orange blossom was lovely & fragrant but I am definitely keen to try this one with a little rosewater too :)

  3. We are big into nuts now wheat is off the menu and this will be perfect and I happen to love roast chicken so it's perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Welcome Julie :) this one is pretty good & you certainly feel you are treating yourself rather than depriving yourself :)

  4. I love nuts. In sweet or savory dishes. Doesn't matter which! Hazelnuts are not a nut I eat often because they are difficult to find here, except in the fall. Nuts paired with roasted chicken sounds delicious!

    1. Thanks Michelle, nuts yes I love them sweet or savoury & these hazelnuts are certainly good with chicken.

  5. This is one of the very first Ottolenghi dishes I ever made, and still one of my favourites - one I frequently break out when I have people over for a meal and everyone loves it. Hazelnuts are one of my favourite nuts too, and using orange blossom water was a good sub for the rosewater - in fact, I think it could even be ever so slightly better.

    1. Your first? Can't believe I actually just came across this one! I guess there is always a new Ottolenghi treat to find!

  6. What a great combination of ingredients. I love that you used the orange blossom water instead of rose water--I am sure it was delicious with the hazelnuts. Great pick! ;-)

    1. Thanks Deb :) I do like a little orange blossom water....it does always mange to transport you to all sorts of exotic places.


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