If you’re currently living in London and you haven’t had the Ottolenghi experience, I highly recommend it. For those not in the know, Ottolenghi is a cross between a modern upmarket restaurant with its sleek white and black settings and a home-style kitchen diner with chefs proudly bringing out platters of food to the display counters. You are surrounded by freshly prepared salads, warm dishes and baked goods and they are all designed for sharing.  It is their belief that most dishes are at their tastiest and best at room temperature or just warm – so you will not see refrigerated display shelves for their salads, nor bain-maries for their hot food.

True to their philosophy of using fresh, quality produce and clever combinations of raw, basic ingredients – you’ll be able to taste every ingredient in each dish. Nothing is is disguised or smothered by another. Simple, tasty food.

I’ve tried a couple of salad recipes from the Ottolenghi cookbook and they have both been superb – Roasted aubergine with saffron yogurt (yum!) and Chargrilled courgettes, asparagus and haloumi (yum yum!). So this time, I thought I’d try a meat dish.

The original recipe has hazelnuts instead of almonds. I only had almonds and I thought the flavours worked just as well. I loved the combination of juicy roasted chicken, spicy saffron and the sweetness from the nuts and honey. So simple, so tasty.

I shall endeavour to try out more wonderful recipes from the cookbook and bring Ottolenghi to my very own dining table here in Melbourne.

Original recipe serves 4 (which I halved)

1 large chicken, divided into quarters
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a generous pinch of saffron strands
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp cold water
2 tsp course sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
100g unskinned hazelnuts (I used almonds)
70g honey
2 tbsp rosewater
2 spring onions, roughly chopped (I skipped this, but added a couple of parsnips to bulk up the dish)

1. In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for an hour or overnight in the fridge.

2. Preheat oven to 190 deg celcius. Spread the nuts on a an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Chop roughly and set aside.

3. Transfer the chicken and marinade to a large roasting tray. Arrange chicken skin side up and bake for about 35 minutes.

4. While chicken is roasting, mix the honey, rosewater and nuts together to make a rough paste. Remove the chicken from the oven, spoon generous amounts of nut mixture on to each piece and spread it to cover. Return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and nuts are golden brown.

5. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with chopped spring onions.

(As I added parsnips to the dish, I mixed them in with the chicken in step 1 and cooked them for as long as the chicken.)


Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this, the photos are absolutely incredible.

  2. Hmmmm…. sounds & looks sooo yummy! Just one question – do u know if there is a substitute for rosewater? not sure i can find that here…

    • Unfortunately there’s no real sub for Rosewater. Some people do sub with orange flower water or even a small amount of vanilla extract. For this recipe, if you have something like lavender honey, you could use that otherwise just go without! It’d still be yum!

  3. I was originally looking up “rosewater recipes” in my browser when I came across this recipe using rosewater. However, I found most references were about making your own rosewater by steeping rose petals in a small amount of water. You might try looking up some of these recipes to make your own rosewater, if you feel that ambitious. Spring is coming and there will be so many beautiful roses to use — and you can use the dried petals after the flowers fade, too, so you don’t have to pick your beauties off of the bushes before their time or you can use faded flowers you’ve picked to adorn your home. Rosewater smells so wonderful… like being in an old-fashioned rose garden! Good luck.


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About droolfactor

It's all about my gastronomical journeys, and sometimes an inedible thought or two. One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story This is my personal journey where I devote my attention to eating, cooking, experimenting and taking chances. Anything I come across with a droolfactor worth sharing, it's here. I hope you'll enjoy this journey with me.


Chicken, Home attempts, Recipes


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