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Chicken Braised with Saffron, Cinnamon and Lavender, Topped with Almonds

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I've been sitting on this recipe for months and finally made it yesterday...it is delicious! Make it for a special occasion or if you're feeling fancy wink.gif





2 tbsp. olive-y and peppery olive oil


4 whole chicken legs, thigh and drumstick separated, or 1 whole chicken, cut up


2 small onions, chopped


1 tsp. ground cinnamon


1 tsp. ground coriander


Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1/2 cup dry sherry or marsala


1/2 tsp. saffron threads dissolved in 1 tbsp. very hot water


1/2 cup water


2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar


1/2 cup vodka


1 heaping tbsp. dried lavender buds


1 tbsp. honey


1 cup chopped toasted almonds





Heat large, heavy dutch oven or braising pot over medium heat until pot´s edges are warm to touch; then add olive oil. When oil is hot and shimmery and is beginning to thin and flow, add pieces of chicken, skin side down, until floor of pot is filled. Don't overcrowd pot. You will need to brown chicken in at least two batches unless pan is very large. As pieces brown, turn them over and brown other side. Remove browned pieces and place on platter. When all chicken is browned, drain off all but very thin film of fat and oil.




Add onions to pot and cook over low heat until limp and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Then add spices and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in sherry, dissolved saffron, water, and balsamic vinegar, and return chicken to pot. Cover tightly and let cook slowly, over lowest-possible heat, turning once, 45 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove chicken pieces and pour excess fat into defatting pitcher or skim off with spoon. There will be about 1 1/4 cups liquid.




About 20 minutes before serving, in small pan heat vodka to just below boiling point; do not boil. Remove from heat and add lavender buds. Allow to steep 15 minutes. Then strain out and discard flowers, and add vodka to defatted pan juices. Heat juices to cook off alcohol, 3 to 4 minutes. Return chicken and its sauce to pot, and heat gently until warmed through. Pour honey over top, add toasted almonds, and serve.


Serves 4.

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It was very tasty! I saved the recipe from Latina Magazine, the ingredients were so random I thought it would be fun to make one day. It came together really well :)

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