Stewed Chicken with Saffron, Rice and Black Beans

Here’s another repost from Bags & Biscuits. Food inspired by our month long stay in Lisbon, Portugal. I have to admit that we miss Portugal and are looking forward to going back. I do see that I need to rephotograph the photos on this one. That will come soon! I hope you enjoy this very tasty treat.

Bom Dia,

When we developed Bags & Biscuits, was to showcase travel and food, two things we love. So far we have neglected the food part and are working to change it.

Our first food post is a recipe for Stewed Chicken with Saffron inspired by our visit to Lisbon, Portugal.

The flavors of Portuguese cooking are deceptively simple.

Bay leaf, paprika, a salt-cured red bell pepper paste, thinly sliced greens, Piri Piri sauce, sweet mustard, saffron and lots of love create dishes in complexity and flavor that make you moan at the goodness.

Much of the Portuguese food we experienced was grilled or stewed and oh so yummy.

Portugal's traditional sandwich the bifana
Portugal’s traditional sandwich the bifana

A favorite is the bifana. A deceptively simple sandwich of thinly sliced pork marinated and cooked in secret sauces (every cook has his or her own recipe for success) placed on a toasted bun. Top with a little sweet mustard and Piri Piri sauce and let the juices run down your chin while you sit back with a satisfied smile on your face.

The quality and flavors of the meats sold in Lisbon are exceptional. Amazingly enough, the chicken breasts and wings are normal sized, not gi-normous like those sold in the US. Thanks to no growth hormones and genetic tampering.

And the flavor! NO more bland flavorless chicken or pork. And the ground beef stayed a beautiful pink even after being cooked through. Delicious!

With no oven in our Lisbon rental, we cooked on the stove top. I quickly came to realize how much we enjoyed roasted food and having an oven made its way onto to our must haves list.

The inspiration for Stewed Chicken with Saffron comes from the fantastic chicken, plentiful saffron, the local bay leaf and paprika seasoning and the thinly sliced kale and collards (normally used for a traditional Portuguese potato and greens soup).

The Usual Meat Market in Portugal
The Usual Meat Market in Portugal

It’s also very easy to make. Get the butcher to cut up your chicken to save time. Put a rough chop on the rest of the ingredients because they stew down with the chicken. Toss it on the stove for around an hour and you have a wonderfully tasty and yummy flavor to serve up.

For more intense and in-depth flavor, make the Stewed Chicken with Saffron a day or two ahead.

While I highly recommend that you use saffron if you can get it, I do realize it is expensive. For those of you in the US, Trader Joe’s tends to have it for a reasonable price if you happen to live near one. It can also be left out of the recipe, without doing too much harm to the recipe.

I use the leg quarters because they offer more flavor and are much more forgiving to stewing. Chicken breast will turn out dry in this type of recipe.

Stewing in the Stewed Chicken with Saffron Recipe
Stewing in the Stewed Chicken with Saffron Recipe

I do use the chicken bouillon because I’m traveling but feel free to switch it out for a deeply reduced chicken broth to intensify the flavor of the broth. You will probably need to up the salt if using chicken broth since bouillon is plenty salty.

It is also possible to switch out the fresh tomatoes for a 14-ounce can of canned tomatoes if you choose.

I served this dish over rice, but it would also be good with noodles or toss in some potatoes to cook along with it for a complete one pot meal.

Hubby gives this dish his complete approval, along with happy smiles and moans of delight as he ate it. It also got made more than once while it Lisbon.

Please share your opinions, ideas and thoughts about what you would like to see in our food installments. We look forward to “hearing” them.

And if you like our recipes, don’t forget to stop by our sister blog, Simply Sophisticated Cooking, for more recipe ideas.

Stewed Chicken with Saffron over Rice and Black Beans
Stewed Chicken with Saffron over Rice and Black Beans

Stewed Chicken with Saffron

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 2hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 – 5 Tbsp. olive oil

2 chicken leg quarters with back meat, bone-in, skin on

2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

¼ habanero pepper, finely chopped (handle carefully with gloves; avoid touching the skin and eyes)

1 Tbsp. bay leaf and paprika mix (half paprika and half chopped bay leaf for those without the mix)

1 chicken bouillon cube

6 cups water or veggie/chicken stock

1 cup thinly sliced kale or collard greens

Salt and pepper, to taste

.05 gram Saffron

Over medium-high heat, brown chicken in olive oil in a large stock pot. Remove browned chicken from pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium.

Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and toss in onions. Cook down the onions for a couple of minutes before adding tomatoes, habanero pepper and garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant.

While onions are cooking, place saffron in about ¼ cup of the hot water/stock and set aside.

Finally, add the chicken pieces back into the pot along with the chicken bouillon, bay leaf and paprika seasoning, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil. Cover with lid and cook over medium-low heat until chicken is tender, stir occasionally.

Remove chicken from pot and shred from bone. Throw away skin and bones. Add the chicken back to the juices and veggies in the pot.

Place back on the burner and heat through. Pour in the saffron juice, stirring well.

Serve with black beans/cilantro and rice.

Better if allowed to meld overnight in the fridge and eaten the next day.

More inspiration using saffron:

Sunny Saffron Risotto from Pip and Little Blue

Lamb Shanks with Herbed Basmati Rice and Fava Beans from The Unmanly Chef

Coconut and Saffron Mussels from A Fork and A Pencil

Tea Smoked Lamb and Saffron Braised Artichokes from Gourmantine

Courgette and Goat Cheese Quiche from 1001 Voyages Gourmands

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