Room for Seconds

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Rich Man's Chicken, Poor Person's budget.

I call this by that name because it uses saffron, which is expensive upfront. If you already have some, this dish is actually not too hard on the budget, and is super easy. Think of it this way, a 2 gram box of saffron cost me $7.99, but I can use it to flavour a dish like this four times. That’s no more than a large can of tomatoes in my market. (Prices vary, of course)

Prep time 10 minutes, cooking time about one hour, serves four.

4-6 skin on, bone in chicken pieces (I use thighs)

1 tsp saffron thread

2-3 garlic cloves

2 tsp good oil, not olive

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a mortar and pestle (if you have one) or on a small flexible cutting board, mash the saffron and garlic together until it forms a paste (about five of the longest minutes). Do not scrimp on this step. When it is a paste, stir in your oil.


Loosen the skin on the chicken, but don’t remove it. Massage the saffron-garlic paste onto the meat, under the skin. Your hands will stain, and this will feel weird: do it anyway.

Put your chicken pieces in a roasting dish, well separated in a single layer. Roast for about one hour, basting occasionally, until the skin is crisp and the juices run clear.


I serve this with butter and chive (or green onion) seasoned rice, and seasonal vegetables.

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