Spanish Lemon Chicken with Honey and Saffron


We had a nice break from the heat with some cool, 70’s and sunny weather. What a great time to reintroduce myself to the oven. Hi oven Remember me? Let’s do something! Oven agrees! Hooray.

This is so very good. We had it with some potatoes and green beans and it made for a wonderful dinner, next-day lunch and the rest of the chicken was used the day after that in a pasta salad.

I even have all the bones in a freezer bag (in the freezer) waiting for the next cool day to make some stock!

Printable recipe pdf!

Lemon Chicken with Honey and Saffron
Recipe adapted from The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen
1 chicken (about 4 pounds), cut up
1 tbsp olive oil
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tsp light honey, such as orange flower
1 large pinch of saffron, pulverized in a mortar and steeped in 1 tablespoon very hot water
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Optional: 2 tbsp lightly toasted sesame seeds

Rinse chicken pieces, pat dry and trim off excess fat. Rub chicken all over with cumin, ginger and coriander. Let stand for 15 minutes. Place lemon juice, 5 teaspoons honey and saffron in a small bowl and whisk to mix.


Place chicken in an earthenware cazuela that will hold it in one layer, or in an enamel or glass baking dish. Pour mixture over chicken. Prick chicken all over with tines of a fork, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours, turning several times.


After marinading, remove chicken from mixture. IMPORTANT: Leave the lemon-honey mixture in the dish. Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken, about 3-4 minutes per side.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scatter the onion and garlic in your baking dish. Place browned chicken on top of onion and drizzle it with remaining 1 teaspoon honey.


Bake chicken at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking chicken until it is cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Start testing the chicken for doneness after 40 minutes total cooking time. Remove pieces (breasts, wings, etc.. as they are done if needed. Keep warm with foil).


If you are using sesame seeds, sprinkle them on the chicken when about 5 minutes from being done and then return to the oven to finish cooking. Serve chicken right from the baking dish or transfer to a platter.

One Reply to “Spanish Lemon Chicken with Honey and Saffron”

  1. This sounds amazingly delicious on this cool gray August morning. The warm flavors remind me of Spanish sunshine!

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