Saffron Chicken Rice

After a whole week of cookies, I had to take a break from blogging just to recover from my sugar coma. Phew! If you want to see a round up of all 70+ recipes, click on the thumbnail below! Thanks so much to Erin for hosting this Cookie Exchange 🙂


Now onto the savoury stuff! When my mom went over to visit my brothers in the UK, she got me a little jar of saffron threads. I’ve seen them here before but I’ve never knew what to do with them. Saffron is famous for how expensive they are by weight (more than gold!) and to me, that’s all saffron is. Now that mom has gotten me a jar of it, I wanted to make use of it in a way that would bring out its flavours as well as colours. And safe. Safe as in, I don’t have to throw out the contents of the entire pot after messing stuff up. What’s safer than rice and chicken?

Saffron, you guys!
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I used some bone-in chopped chicken thighs because bone-in meat gives a lot more flavour! A bit finicky to eat but we love it. You can definitely go with skin-on breast or boneless thighs.
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It’s very important to season every element of the dish especially a layered one like this. Before searing the chicken pieces, I gave a them a light dusting of salt & pepper.
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Seared as best I could. I could have taken it further but yeah, fear of burning!
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Oooooohhh… the fond…
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To give this a brighter fragrance, I decided at the last minute to add a little lemon zest. I figured this would be a bit heavier and meatier so some lemon zest would perk it all up a bunch.
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You can certainly use homemade broth if you had some. I didn’t but I have got some good, low sodium beef bouillon cubes so I broke 2 in.
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Water & simmer!
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Then the chicken pieces have to be arranged on top of the rice, skin side up. If you have an ovenproof pan, you could do it all in one pan itself! I should get myself one of those.
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After a good baking up and browning in the oven, we have an easy peasy chicken & rice dish ready.
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The top browned bits are the best.
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This portion can serve about 6, which is perfect for us! One dish, 3 meals down.
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I like how the saffron only dyes the rice that’s near them, creating a sort of ombre effect.
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I served this with pea sprouts to make for the perfect dinner! I guess using saffron in this was a very good decision.
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Let’s be honest. With or without saffron, this would have been fabulous. Chicken on rice. No complaints there! But with the addition of saffron, it takes a classic like this to another level with it’s bright colour and unique astringent flavour. ♥





“And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” {Isaiah 58:11}

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Saffron Chicken Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 4 Chicken Drumsticks, skin on and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • zest of ½ Lemon
  • 0.5 gm Saffron threads
  • 2 cups Beef/Chicken Broth (or 2 bouillon cubes + 2 cups water)
  • 1 cup Long-Grain Rice
  • ½ tsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Green Onions/Spring Onions, to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 450F or 220C. Prepare an 8x8 inch oven-safe pan by oiling it lightly.
  2. Sprinkle some salt & pepper over chicken pieces.
  3. Heat up oil in a deep medium pot.
  4. Brown chicken pieces in batches. Spoon out & reserve.
  5. Toss in minced garlic & chopped onion. Saute for about 1 minute until onion is translucent.
  6. Add lemon zest, saffron & crushed bouillon cubes (if using). Stir in rice so that the grains are coated with oil, about 1 minute.
  7. Pour in water/broth. Bring it up to a simmer.
  8. Pour everything into the prepared 8x8 pan. Arrange chicken pieces on top, skin side up.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes of until chicken is cooked through & rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes, garnish with spring onions & serve!

Recipe adapted from: Tastes Lovely

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