Simple Saffron Chicken and Rice

Our Simple Saffron Chicken and Rice is full of colour and flavour.

Large bowl of saffron chicken on table

Today’s Simple Saffron Chicken and Rice gets its vibrant colour from the saffron and paprika. Saffron threads can be quite expensive, although the ground version is an affordable alternative. If you prefer things a bit spicier, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Leftover rice and chicken will keep well for two days. Cover and refrigerate, then reheat in microwave when you’re ready to eat.

Serves: Two
Time: 40 minutes


  • 1-2 chicken thighs and 2 drumsticks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red or green capsicum, two-thirds diced and one-third cut into very thin slices
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 200g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 135g long-grain rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
  • 435ml boiling water
  • handful of frozen peas (optional)


Wash chicken pieces, then pat them dry and season well with salt and pepper. Heat half of the oil in a deep frying pan over high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides, then remove and set aside.

Add the remaining oil and reduce to medium heat. Add the onion and diced capsicum, cooking gently for about five minutes. Stir in the paprika and tomatoes and simmer for about 1-3 minutes, until the mixture thickens.

Add rice, saffron and water into the pan and combine. Return chicken to mixture and stir through. Add more salt or pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until liquid has absorbed. Stir in the sliced capsicum and peas, and cover for another 3–4 minutes, until capsicum softens. 



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