Saffron rice with chicken & peppers

Saffron rice with chicken & peppers

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(8 ratings)

Ready in about 40-50 minutes


Serves 4
Infuse this super-healthy rice dish with the distinctive flavour of saffron - the dish is high in vitamin C, too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal493
  • fat8g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs61g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein44g
  • salt0.6g
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  • saffron, generous pinch



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 600g/1lb 5oz total weight), each cut into chunks



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 2 sprigs thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 medium onions, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 125ml light chicken stock
  • 250g basmati rice
  • 100g frozen peas (or fresh, cooked)



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…


  1. Put the saffron in a small bowl and pour over the warm water. Bruise the strands with the back of a teaspoon to fix the colour, and set aside while you prepare the rest.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, weighty casserole, and when hot tip in the chicken. Stir fry for a minute or two over a high heat to seal in the juices, then set aside.

  3. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs and scatter into the pan along with the onions and garlic. Fry until golden then pour in the lime juice. Turn the heat down a tad, add the pepper and continue cooking for another 5 minutes before adding the wine, stock and seasoning. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer for 6 minutes until the meat is tender and the liquid has cooked down a little.

  4. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a pan of fast boiling water until tender, but with a slight bite. Drain in a colander and rinse with warm water. Heap over the chicken while still on the heat. Drizzle with the saffron and its soaking liquid, and scatter over the peas. Don’t stir the chicken and rice at this stage, but cover and cook over a low-moderate heat until the rice is fluffy and the liquid reduced to a few tablespoons – about 3 minutes. Before serving, gently mix the saffron-streaked rice with the chicken and pepper mixture.

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Comments, questions and tips

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d1zzyd1's picture
16th Nov, 2013
I must have missed something here. We all found this to be incredibly bland. Wouldn't make again.
maggiebleksley's picture
27th Nov, 2017
I'd have expected those ingredients would give it plenty of flavour. It omits to mention seasoning, but it goes without saying that you add pepper and salt if you're finding it bland.
14th Apr, 2011
This is a great recipe and was enjoyed by the whole family (including children aged 12 and 6). Dare I say that the cold leftovers were enjoyed even more, the next day. I made this with a chicken that I jointed, rather than just chicken breasts, since it is both cheaper to do it this way, and I personally prefer my chicken on the bone. I didn't cook the rice separately, simply browned the chicken, then added the onions and peppers, then the rice, and the liquid. This dish will undoubtedly become a firm favourite in our family.
4th Sep, 2008
I must admitt I never had any saffron or thyme to hand but still found this to be a gorgeous recipe which the kids loved (aged 2 and 3yrs) and I did too. Very easy to make, will def make again with saffron and thyme next time!
23rd Aug, 2008
This is a delicious recipe, I have made it twice now. I found you needed quite a lot of saffron to get the taste and colour so added more the second time. Doubling this up and making it today for a family party as its so easy and fairly quick and loved by kids and adults as not spicy
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