This dish tastes amazing. The combination of cardamom, saffron, rosewater and pistachios is as fragrant as a spring garden. It is as colourful too. The red onions and yellow saffron contrast well with the green pistachios. You could add to these colours with fresh parsley and pomegranate garnishes. It is based on a recipe by Ottolenghi
4 chicken breasts
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cardamom
a pinch of saffron threads
juice of 1 lemon
100 g honey
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges each. Cut through the root end so the sections stay together
1tspn sugar and pinch salt
100g pistachios, ground
2 tbsp rose water
In a large bowl, mix the chicken breasts with 2 tbsp olive oil, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, 50g honey and salt and pepper Leave to marinate for at least an hour, or overnight in the fridge
Mix onions with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, sugar and salt.
Spread onions on baking dish lined with baking paper. Cook at 150 C for 30 mins.
While the onions are roasting, mix the remaining 50g honey and nuts together to make a rough paste
Remove onions from the oven pour the chicken marinade over them. Mix gently to avoid breaking up the wedges. and push to the perimeter of the pan.
Place the chicken breasts in the centre of the pan and top with the pistachio mixture.
Return to the oven for 30 mins, or until the chicken breasts are cooked. If they’re undercooked they will feel soft when pressed. If they’re giving off liquid, they’re overdone. Getting them firm, but before they exude their juice can be tricky and depends on the size and thickness of the chicken.
Place chicken on the plate first.
Then add the rosewater to the onions and juice left in the pan, toss gently and serve alongside the chicken.