Orange Saffron Chicken with Coconut Saffron Risotto

by Jenn on May 15, 2009

in Dairy Free,Gluten Free,Meats,Pastas and Grains


Ok so apparently I am in love with the macro setting today and took a picture of just garnish.  Who am I kidding? I am in love with the macro setting EVERY day!

So this dish came together kind of randomly.  I really wanted to do something with coconut, and got it in my head that saffron and coconut would go well together and so decided to devise a risotto using both of them.  But then I was thinking, hmm what would go well with that? I didn’t want a mono-flavored dish, and so wanted to find some food pairings that would compliment but not compete with the coconut-saffron risotto.  So I sauteed some chicken and spinach using orange and almonds for the spinach, and orange and saffron for the chicken tenderloins.  I felt that the citrus would be nice and light, and the bright fresh flavor would complement the subtle earthiness that the risotto ended up having.  All in all, the combo was quite pleasant, I was pleased with myself! This recipe serves 4.

I know this sounds like an odd combination, but it really worked well together, and you could taste all the different flavors.  I was really afraid the orange might be too overpowering, but it wasn’t.  All and all a good dish for just kind of making up.  Ideally, I’d find something besides sherry to use for the risotto.  Maybe I could skip that step?  Not sure.

Here is the whole dish (not just the garnish, ha!)

Ha I know I use chicken tenderloins because I am a poor grad student, and you are probably wondering why in the world I could afford to cook with saffron.  Actually we bought this saffron at quite a deal on our honeymoon in Cape Cod.  We met someone who had just come back from an amazing trip to Iran and had bought a lot of saffron in bulk when he was over there, and so he sold it to us for fairly cheap.  About 2 tsp. worth of threads cost us $5.  Not bad!