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Aromatic Saffron Chicken with Coconut Rice

One-pot Aromatic Saffron Chicken and Coconut Rice with turmeric, coconut milk, peas, raisins and saffron threads – A flavorful, unique fusion dinner recipe that is amazing for sharing or meal prepping.

One-Pot Aromatic Saffron Chicken and Coconut Rice - a flavorful healthful fusion dinner recipe

While this recipe comes off as a dish that has a rich cultural background, its origin is simply my imagination. 

Aromatic saffron chicken with coconut rice was simply born out of my craving for something big in flavor, with a counterbalance of salt, sweet, and cream. 

You could say it is a magical amalgamation of Indian, Middle Eastern and Thai faire. A fusion recipe, if you will.

I hadn’t thought about my “style” of cooking until recently, but I have come to realize it is exactly meals such as this. Fresh, flavorful dishes that combine big aromatic flavors and often can’t be pinned to any one type of cuisine but rather several. 

Aromatic Saffron Chicken with Coconut Rice in a large skillet with slices of lemon

While I absolutely LOVE authentic anything (Thai, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, you name it), I also enjoy me-ifying meals by swapping out ingredients that are difficult to find, figuring out ways of cutting down prep time without sacrificing flavor, and always injecting nutrients whenever possible.

So without further adieu, let’s dive right into this amazing meal, which was nearly impossible for me to name but will surely make your taste buds swoon!

It’s easy, m’kay!

How to Make Aromatic Saffron Chicken with Coconut Rice:

Combine the coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, onion powder, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a blender and blend until smooth.

Ingredients for an aromatic turmeric marinade in a blender

Add the chicken to a sealable container or zip lock back and pour in ½ cup of the turmeric coconut milk mixture. Marinate at least 15 minutes, up to 12 hours.

Transfer rice to a large bowl or measuring cup and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Soak at least 15 minutes (up to 12 hours). Drain the water and set rice aside until ready to use.

Heat a large skillet with a deep lip (or dutch oven) over medium heat and add the chicken with the marinade. 

Aromatic Saffron Chicken cooking in a skillet

Brown for 3 minutes per side.

Browning turmeric chicken thighs in a skillet

Add rice, remaining coconut milk mixture and water to the skillet and stir. Bring to a full boil. Add saffron threads, peas, and raisins and return to a boil. 

Adding saffron to skillet of turmeric marinated chicken

Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes. 

Cooking saffron chicken in a large skillet with coconut milk marinade and rice

Remove lid, stir, replace lid. Let sit 10 more minutes with no heat.

Finished saffron chicken and coconut rice in a skillet on a stove top

Recipe Adaptations:

  • You can use brown rice instead of white rice – just note that if you make this swap, you’ll need to cook the rice longer (according to package instructions).
  • Add ½ cup chopped yellow onion and/or 4 cloves garlic.
  • Use shrimp in addition to chicken thighs and/or instead of chicken.

Aromatic Saffron Chicken and Coconut Rice - an easy one-pot dinner recipe

More Delicious Fusion Recipes:

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Aromatic Saffron Chicken with Coconut Rice in a large skillet with slices of lemon

Aromatic Saffron Chicken and Coconut Milk Rice

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marination Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Saffron chicken and coconut rice made in one skillet or pot for a healthy dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 to 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs

Turmeric Coconut Milk Marinade:

For the Rice Skillet:

  • 2 cups white rice, soaked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp (one pinch) saffron threads
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 lemon, sliced for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine the coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, onion powder, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the chicken to a sealable container or zip lock back and pour in ½ cup of the turmeric coconut milk mixture. Marinate at least 15 minutes, up to 12 hours.
  3. Transfer rice to a large bowl or measuring cup and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Soak at least 15 minutes (up to 12 hours). Drain the water and set rice aside until ready to use.
  4. Heat a large skillet with a deep lip (or dutch oven) over medium heat and add the chicken with the marinade. Brown chicken for 3 minutes per side.
  5. Add rice, remaining coconut milk mixture and water to the skillet and stir. Bring to a full boil. Add saffron threads, peas, and raisins and return to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes.
  7. Remove lid, stir, replace lid. Let sit 10 more minutes with no heat. Taste the rice for flavor and add more sea salt and/or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving Calories 465Total Fat 21gUnsaturated Fat 0gCarbohydrates 44gFiber 2gSugar 7gProtein 22g

One-Pot Saffron Chicken with Coconut Rice - an easy, delicious fusion recipe requiring minimal prep or cleanup!

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Carol Murphy

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Julia-Absolutely delicious! Thank you for all your ideas and food artistry!

Julia

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

I'm so happy you like it, Carol! Thank you for the sweet note! xoxo

Francis

Monday 1st of June 2020

Thank you for making this low FODmap!! It looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. Now I need to find some saffron threads.

Julia

Monday 1st of June 2020

My pleasure, Francis!! I hope you enjoy! xo

Genevieve

Monday 1st of June 2020

This is an excellent idea for meal prep for the week! I am salivating just thinking about it! I was thinking replacing peas with edamame, and maybe adding some slivered almonds for crunch... I cannot wait to make this!

Julia

Monday 1st of June 2020

I'm so happy you like the idea of it, Genevieve! Let me know how you like it after trying it!! xoxo

Shirley

Monday 1st of June 2020

What an interesting and flavorful recipe. I have saffron in my spice cabinet, but seldom use it from lack of experience. This looks like a great recipe to try!

Julia

Monday 1st of June 2020

Yeees it's such a lovely meal! Definitely a great one to put those saffron threads to use! xoxo

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