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Recipe for Saffron Chicken with Potato and Courgette Bake

This savoury recipe for Saffron Chicken comes from the Mirabeau Wine kitchen in the Var. The chicken is matched with an easy side dish of potato and courgette (zucchini). It was a collaboration of the culinary talents of Jeany Cronk and a chef from Canada Jake Laderoute.

We chose locally-grown saffron in this dish (from Cotignac) as a lot of folk aren’t sure how to use this fabulous spice. There are two parts to this recipe, which makes a wonderful main course. Pair with a glass of dry crisp rosé (from Provence), for that feeling of eating outside in the South of France.

More about saffron in Provence:

Harvesting the Saffron of Provence in Cotignac

French Saffron – Facts, Fun, History and Legends

The Saffron Fields of Provence

Head to the pastoral Jabron Valley near Sisteron for a farm visit at le Moulin de Jarjayes, where the Bouchet family has been farming in the area for several generations. More details on this couple and the saffron farm visits here.

Saffron Chicken Potato Courgette Bake Mirabeau Wine

Saffron Chicken with Potato and Courgette Bake

Like many popular sheet-pan recipes this one is simple and tasty. Your guests will love it.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


For the Saffron Chicken

  • 2 Chicken Thighs/Drumsticks per person skin on and bone in
  • pinch of Saffron Strands
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 200 ml Dry White Wine
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 lb Green Beans cut in half

For the Potato and Courgette bake

  • 250 ml Cream
  • 500 g Potatoes
  • 1-2 Courgettes (zucchini)
  • salt and black pepper


To make the Saffron Chicken

  • Boil the kettle and preheat the oven to 160 C (320F) degrees.
  • Take your chicken thighs and, using a pair of scissors, trim off any excess fat. Sprinkle the skin side with salt.
  • Take a good pinch of saffron threads and place in a teacup. Half fill the teacup or small mug with water from the kettle which has come off the boil and leave to infuse. 
  • Pour a generous slug (a couple of tablespoons) of olive oil into an ovenproof shallow casserole dish (one which comes with a lid).
  • Heat to a medium heat and gently fry the peeled whole garlic cloves on each side until pale golden. Remove and set aside. They have a sweet, mild flavour when cooked whole this way, not at all strong.
  • Turn the heat to a high temperature and fry the chicken thighs to seal, skin side down until pale golden, turn and seal on the other side.
  • Turn so that the skin side is up again. Turn the heat down to a medium heat. Pour the white wine in to the pan. It will spit and sizzle. Shake the pan so that the oil and white wine emulsify.
  • Spoon the infused saffron and water over the thighs, adding the threads too.
  • Return the golden garlic cloves to the pan.
  • Place the ovenproof lid or tin foil on the pan and cook in the oven for 45 minutes, until the chicken comes away from the bone easily.
    Saffron Chicken Potato Courgette Bake Mirabeau Wine
  • Half way through cooking add the green beans.
  • Serve the saffron chicken in its oven proof dish with all the lovely, creamy juices.

For the Potato and Courgette Bake

  • Peel the potatoes and the courgette (if desired) and thinly slice.
  • Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish and season with pepper and a small pinch of salt.
  • Then, alternate layers of courgette slices and potato slices, seasoning every layer as you go, adding parsley as well.
  • Pour over the cream until 2/3 of the veggies are covered.
  • Cook for 20-30 mins, until potatoes and courgettes are cooked through.


Tip: using saffron without this method of ‘blooming’ (step 3) can lead to irregular, disappointing results.
Optional for the chicken sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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Maison Mirabeau Wine

Stephen had been in the corporate world for 15 years and in August 2008 turned down a promotion that would have meant more money but also more stress, longer hours and less time with his young family. For many years the Cronks had been dreaming and talking about moving to France to make their own wine, but the moment never seemed quite right to make the big leap.

Soon after, a good redundancy offer seemed the perfect opportunity to turn the dream into reality and after selling their beloved house, they left the leafy suburbs of south-west London in August 2009. Their worldly possessions were packed up on the back of a truck and with barely a word of French between them, the family headed south to a small village called Cotignac, in the heart of Provence.

The Cronks spent a year getting their bearings, learning to live the provençal way, as Stephen was criss-crossing the country researching and finding the best vineyards to work with. The next step was setting up a small wine business with the principle objective of making a Provence rosé that would be regarded as one of the very best from the region, while building a brand that people would grow to love. In order to achieve this aim, they put together a highly experienced winemaking team and threw their heart and soul into the brand and innovative communications with their customers. Mirabeau is now being sold in more than 30 markets, has won medals and earned acclaim from some of the world’s toughest wine critics, but what really makes Stephen happiest is that their wines are an integral part of people having a great time together.

Read more about the Mirabeau Wine story here.

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