Saffron rice with chicken & peppers

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

  • Ready in about 40-50 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 493
  • fat 8g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 61g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 44g
  • salt 0.6g


  • saffron, generous pinch
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 600g/1lb 5oz total weight), each cut into chunks
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 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)


  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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