Chicken with Saffron and Quince a Fall Recipe
Qunice, or coing in French, is a lemon-yellow coloured fruit that looks like a lumpy pear. Although it is a genetic relative to apples and pears, the only way to eat quince is to cook it. One popular preparation is membrillo (pate de coing), a dense, sweet, sliceable paste often served with cheeses in Spain, France and Arizona. The recipe below uses quince in a savoury combination of chicken and saffron, perfect for a fall dinner.
I don’t think I had ever seen a quince until I moved to the Southwest US. After a recent quince jam cooking class, I came home with a bag of lumpy, fuzzy fruit. Aside from jam, what was I to make? Continue reading here for the original Cocoa & Lavender post.
Saffron Chicken with Quince
- 1 lb Quince
- 4 tbsp Clarified butter or Ghee
- 1 tsp Saffron Threads
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 4-6 large Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs trimmed
- 1 large Onion thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water
- 1 Lemon for juice
- Ground Black Pepper
- Do not peel the quinces. Rub off all the fuzz with a terrycloth or damp paper towel, and wash them. Quarter them and remove the core with a melon baller or sharp knife. Cut into 3/4-inch wedges.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of clarified butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the quince and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add saffron and sugar and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring and tumbling occasionally to coat the quince with the saffron. Remove from heat.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of clarified butter over medium heat in a separate large frying pan. Add the chicken and brown, turning once, for about 6-7 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook with the chicken for another 8 minutes. Next, add the tomato paste mixture and cook another 5 minutes until the liquid thickens slightly.
- Add the quince and lemon juice to the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the chicken and quince are tender.
Cooking with Quince
Additional Chicken Recipes
Saffron in Provence
In October, the Provencal sun rises slowly above the horizon, like an old dog mentally weighing the effort of its next move. In the Jabron Valley, at 600 meters, about 10 kilometres from Sisteron, autumn mornings can be particularly frosty with single-digit temperatures. However, the saffron harvest at le Moulin de Jarjayes cannot wait for warmer weather. The tiny purple-hued crocus blooms only last a few hours.
Saffron, like grapes, milk and other natural products, is impacted by terroir. Apparently, crocuses grown in North Africa will produce saffron with a slightly different colour and aroma from that grown in Haute Provence. This spice is one of the most expensive in the world due to the intensely laborious production process. There are roughly four flowers for each bulb, and each bloom has three stigmas. It takes about 200-220 flowers to produce 1 gram of saffron (or between 150-200,000 flowers for 1 kilogram).