Is there anything more satisfying than biting into a salty, flavorful, crisp piece of fried chicken? I know I have a particular weakness for the stuff (it’s my post-workout week splurge). Perfecting fried chicken is not easy, and it’s taken me years to create a recipe that I’m fully happy with. Of course, leaving it well alone is not an option, so I created my own twist with saffron. Saffron is used in a lot of Middle Eastern and South Asian marinades, oftentimes with yogurt, and it complements the flavor of chicken amazingly. Fried chicken was my perfect reason to break into the saffron stash. So the reality is that there are a few (worthwhile!) steps here. I marinate the chicken in saffron buttermilk that serves to brine the chicken, make it even juicier, and deeply infuse it with all of the marinade ingredients — a pinch of saffron, garlic, a touch of mustard. Then, I double-dip the chicken to create a super-crisp crust, and let it air-dry while the meat loses its chill. Finally, frying at the perfect temperature ensures fried chicken nirvana — crisp, flavorful, aromatic, tender, and juicy. Enjoy! Click here to see 7 Must-Have Spices.
Don’t worry — that’s not mustard in the picture. That would be sacrilege. It’s a saffron aïoli with toasted garlic and ginger, and the characteristic color comes from saffron. In other words, it’s fancy mayo. There will definitely be some leftover (there isn’t really a way to make less, unless you don’t mind going to the trouble of splitting an egg evenly; ratios are ratios after all), but it shouldn’t be hard to think of ways to use up the rest. Using only extra-virgin olive oil would make for a bitter mayo, so it's toned down with an equal measure of canola oil.
Make this for the special someone in your life, and I guarantee you, the fireworks will happen — or at the very least, the house will smell like bacon and toasted garlic. Which is never a bad thing.
Click here to see the Bacon: It's What's for Dinner story.
Throughout the centuries saffron has been a symbol of wealth and elegance. Cleopatra used saffron water to keep her skin soft. Roman Emperor Nero sprinkled the streets with saffron water to honor his return to Rome. Persians considered it a tonic for the heart as it was thought to alleviate melancholy. (However, they believed too much of it could produce a state of euphoria and even death from too much laughter!).
A spice consisting of the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus, it was introduced into Spain by the Arabs, and later cultivated in Mediterranean regions and elsewhere in Europe. In France, it was grown by “safraniers” in the sixteenth century. In England, the Essex town of Saffron Walden became the center of saffron cultivation.
Rice was introduced into Italy during the Middle Ages by Venetian or Genoese merchants who traded with the east. The earliest documentation of rice cultivation in Italy dates to 1475. Risotto is specific to northern Italy where rice paddies are abundant. — Maite Gomez-Réjon.
Adapted from the ArtBites tour of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The radiant orange spice, saffron, has been studied and shown to be as effective as certain antidepressant drugs such as imipramine and fluoxetine. Saffron also helps with mood swings and depression associated with PMS. Make tea with a pinch of saffron and experience these amazing effects.
Read more about 12 Teas That Boost Your Mood.
India has a whole genre of sweet desserts which were once made in the home, but are now mostly made by specialized halvaies – Indian pâtissiers. Gulab jamun are one of India’s favorites: little syrupy doughnuts made from thickened milk instead of flour and soaked in sugar syrup rather than stuffed with jam or sweetened in the batter. I use dry milk powder which I rehydrate, not the traditional thickened, solidified milk, as that takes too long and needs too much attention to make. There are only two tricks to getting these doughnuts right: the right consistency of dough (not too soft, not too hard); and frying them over a very low heat so they cook all the way to the center, stirring the oil almost continuously so they brown evenly. I like them warm as they will be softer, and you can reheat them in their syrup, but you can equally eat them cold. Serve as they are, or with a little ice cream. —Anjum Anand, author of I Love India
I regularly make batches of these pears and keep them in my refrigerator to pull out for my cookery workshops, or as impromptu mezze. I cut them into strips and tuck them around the roasted baby peppers stuffed with feta, and I also use fine strips on top of yogurt dips, creamy puddings, or strained yogurt. They taste great with tangy, salty, and blue cheeses and cut into quarters, revealing that the flesh is golden yellow all the way through, they grace any plate. Served whole, they look decorative and appealing and rather special.Mezze by Ghillie Basan, photography by Jan Baldwin, is published by Ryland Peters & Small.
Add vegetables and this doubles as a perfectly good summer soup. I use asparagus stock here because this sauce is going to accompany my Asparagus Paella, but feel free to replace it with basic stock.
Click here to read the full story on Dirt Candy: A Cookbook.
I’m on a whole-fruit-as-dessert kick. There’s just something so elegant and simple about serving a piece of fruit in its whole and natural state, lightly sweetened and topped with nothing but a bit of ice cream or crème chantilly.
The saffron not only adds a lovely flavor but also an orange tint to the syrup that stains the pears ever so slightly, giving them a deep, golden glow.
This Valentine's Day, Landmarc restaurants will be offering romantic and heart-warming specials. You can go out and visit Landmarc at Time Warner Center or Tribeca in NYC or if you decide to stay in, you can make Marc Murphy’s recipe for Potato Gnocchi with Seafood and Saffron (which is being offered on the Valentine’s Day menu at Landmarc Tribeca).No matter what you decide to do this Valentine’s Day, this recipe should be a part of your romantic evening.Keep reading to find out what entrées they’ll be serving at Landmarc this Valentine’s Day and for more information on Landmarc’s specialty cocktails, appetizers and desserts, click here.Chef/Partner: Marc Murphy Date: Sunday, February 14, 2016Valentine's Day Dinner Specials - Landmarc at Time Warner CenterPrice: À la carteHours: 5:00 - 11:00 PM Note: Landmarc TWC's regular dinner menu also available ENTRÉES Poached lobster - leeks fondue & new potatoes, pickled mustard seed - $38Long Island duck two ways - seared breast & confit leg hash, foie gras & cherry mostarda, capers - $36Steak for two - potato gratin, balsamic & red onion jam - $95Market catch for two - potato, zucchini & artichoke confit, blistered cherry tomatoes - $95Valentine's Day Dinner Specials - Landmarc Tribeca Price: À la carte Hours: 5:00 - 11:00 PM Note: Landmarc Tribeca's regular dinner menu also available ENTRÉESSteak for two - broccoli Cheddar potato gratin, watercress & chimichurri - $95Hanger steak - duchess potatoes & grilled vegetables - $37