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Chicken in Saffron Cream Sauce with Saffron Couscous (one pan – 30 minutes)

Chicken with Saffron Cream Sauce and Saffron Couscous

This is a great recipe for a quick, one pan (and a bowl) meal.  So long ago that I had forgotten about it, I bought a small package of saffron and the other day someone mentioned making saffron rice.  I realized that I really should use it before it got any older so I checked out a bunch of recipes on-line, took the parts I liked from each taking into consideration what ingredients I had and ended up with a quick and really great dinner.  There are not that many ingredients, one pan and a bowl and hardly any cleanup.  I used only two chicken breasts because that’s all I needed, but it would be even better if you had four to give extra flavor to the broth.  There was plenty of couscous and sauce for four servings.  As you can see, I like sauce and really poured it on and there was still some left. 

Ingredients for Chicken with Saffron Cream Sauce and Saffron Couscous


salt and pepper

3 Tbs olive oil

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 small onion chopped finely

3 cloves of garlic minced

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups couscous

1/4 cup fresh basil chopped

2 pinches saffron


Chicken browning

In a heavy skillet, add the olive oil over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer.  While it is heating, dry the chicken breasts with paper towels and salt and pepper them.  When the oil is ready brown the chicken breasts well – don’t cook through, just brown the outside.  Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Onions and Garlic Browning

Add the onions to the pan and cook until they are well browned, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Chicken cooking in broth

Return the chicken breasts to the pan, add the broth and saffron and simmer about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees turning them over after about 5 minutes.  While the chicken is cooking, place the couscous in a medium-sized serving bowl.

When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it to a clean plate and tent with foil to keep warm. 

Take 2 cups of the broth (along with some of the onions, garlic and saffron) from the pan and pour it over the couscous, covering the bowl securely with foil.  Let sit for a couple of minutes, fluff with a fork and it will be done.

Add the cream to the remaining broth and simmer gently until reduced.  Just before serving, add the fresh basil and place either in a serving dish (gravy boat type) or plate the chicken and couscous and cover with the sauce.  The saffron gives it a really bright color and nice added flavor.

Chicken with Saffron Cream Sauce and Saffron Couscous

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