My friend Maryam once made this chicken stew with quince infused with saffron. After having at least 3 servings (yes, I am a glutton) of it, I was ready to write the recipe down and whip up this amazing dish next time my saffron addiction kicked in. Here comes the recipe for you. Thank you, Maryam!
Saffron Chicken with Quince
4 medium quinces (about 2 pounds / 1 kg)
6 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
1 teaspoon powdered saffron threads (using a mortar and pestle powder 2 teaspoons saffron threads) dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
3 pounds (about 1.5 kg) boneless chicken parts, cut into serving size pieces (I used thighs)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water
About 10 dried sour plums, pitted and halved (if it is difficult to remove the pit, simply cut the flesh into strips to use and discard the stone) – substitute with 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Ground black pepper
1. Do not peel the quinces. Quarter them and remove core with a knife. Cut into wedges not too thin and not too thick.
2. In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the quince and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add saffron powder and cook together, for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat the quince with the saffron. Remove from heat.
3. In a large deep frying pan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the onion and cook together for another 6-7 minutes. When the chicken starts to release the juices, add tomato paste dissolved in water. Cook together for another 10-15 minutes, or until the juices have slightly thickened. The chicken will be almost but not completely cooked at this point.
5. Add the quince and dried sour plums to the chicken and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce the heat to medium to low, and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken and quince are tender (quince should not be mushy). Note that cooking times may vary depending on the chicken and how hard the fresh quinces are.