I’m just mad about Saffron

And she’s still mad about meeeeeeee…

I love saffron but, lets get real, I can’t just empty our savings account to buy it. So, when I have a hankering for it, I really have to work my grocery budget to allow for it. It’s expensive stuff. There is something about saffron that I just can not get past. It is so beautiful before it is cooked and the gorgeous gold color that comes after it is added to a dish, mmm…yum.

I usually make garlic-saffron rice, it’s so yummy and just hits the spot. However, I can’t just feed my kids a bowl of rice and expect that to fill them up and keep them happy.

Paccheri Pasta with Braised Chicken and Saffron Cream

This was so easy to make and rendered a delicious dish.

First of all, I think chicken thighs are weird. And so does my 3 year old. I think 6 chicken thighs came to 2.75 lbs and she was quite concerned that the chicken had  6 thighs. She’s hilarious. I did end up purchasing the thighs, purely due to the fear of something awful happening to this dish such as the dish last week. I figured I had better follow the recipe.

I have learned my lesson after several failed baking and cooking attempts that I need to have all ingredients cut and ready to go. I highly recommend it. It makes everything go much smoother.

I browned the chicken…kind of. It was browner than it looks here.

I cooked the onions and the garlic. I added the wine and the saffron (oh yummy, the smell was amazing). Using up extra white wine is always a plus in my house, because being part of a wine club has left me with a lot of wine and it needs to go somewhere before we move. I used 2008 Quinta do Feital Auratus Alvarinho-Trajadura, in case you’re curious.

Then I added the chicken broth. Put the chicken back in the pan and braised for an hour plus a little bit…

Took the chicken out and deboned it. Use 2 forks…go with the grain when shredding up chicken.

Thickened the sauce. I did not have a lot of fat in my sauce as organic, free-range chickens just aren’t very fatty so I left what was in there for a little extra flavor. Really get it boiling. My pans soak up heat and seem to magnify it and I didn’t want it to burn so I didn’t turn it up high enough at first and the sauce was not getting thicker. Then I blasted the heat and it reduced fast.

Mixed in the chicken and lemon. Added that to the pasta and BOOM!

There ya have it.

I wasn’t sure my kids were going to eat it. I know that foods with white wine in them can sometimes taste a bit more mature and I know neither of my kids like risotto so I figured there was a chance they wouldn’t like this. Wrong. They loved it. My 3 year old had two servings and wanted more after that. That made me really happy, she has been oddly picky lately. I think she is tired of the repetitiveness in our usual weekly menu. If you are looking for a one bowl type of meal, this is really wonderful.

Every once in a while we need to indulge in a little saffron.

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