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Algerian Lemon Saffron Chicken and Potatoes

October 12, 2009

Saffron Chicken 2
The real name of this recipe is Tagine of Lemon Saffron Chicken with Potato Crust, which sounds quite bedazzling. In my usual fashion, I haven’t purchased my tagine yet, although I promised myself and the world I would do it several days ago. So, my trusty and much loved Dutch Oven saved the day. Again. I once missed a party because I wanted to stay home and write an essay about my Dutch Oven. I know…..

Potato lovers, this recipe is going to thrill you. The saffron, onions, and juices from the chicken imbue the potatoes with a flavor exactly as I imagined something this golden to taste. Rich. Satisfying. All the beauty olive oil brings to a dish.


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken breasts, with or without skin is your choice
1 large onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup of warm water
12 Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled


I have two places from which I purchase meat in Los Angeles. One is Huntington Meats at the Farmer’s Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles. The other is Whole Foods. I feel a sense of reassurance making, if not friends with my butcher, a bit of name and face recognition headway. Somehow, I believe this may get me that slightly better cut of meat on occasion. It certainly saves wait time for me at the counter, as I often call ahead for special orders. For this dish, I purchased the chicken breasts from Whole Foods.

I place the chicken breasts in a large plastic bag. I pour the warm water into a bowl, add the saffron, and stir. I pour this into the plastic bag, along with the turmeric, salt, pepper, lemon juice, some of the sliced onion and minced garlic. I place the plastic bag in a bowl, make sure all the chicken breasts are covered with the saffron liquid, then pop it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Once the chickens are marinated, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and slice the potatoes into medium-sized pieces. Pour the olive oil into the Dutch Oven. Scatter the onions around the bottom of the Dutch Oven and place the chicken breasts on top of the onions. Cover the chicken with the potato slices. Pour the saffron liquid over the potatoes and chicken. Add the garlic, a bit of salt and pepper, and cover. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.

Very moist and lovely. Serve with the Couscous and Aromatic Vegetables.

Serves 4.

If you want to learn more about Algerian cooking, visit Chef Zadi’s Web site. From his writing, I get the feeling he is a powerful culinary talent.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2009 2:03 am

    mmm yum!
    Check out my baking blog and tell me what you think:


  2. October 13, 2009 4:09 am

    It is golden, in color and quality.

  3. October 13, 2009 7:58 am

    My friend Katie was in a cooking class in Morocco yesterday and she learned to make something like this. Check out the post at

  4. July 3, 2010 12:22 am

    I’m happy that you tried my recipe and enjoyed it. Thank you.

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