Hacienda Chicken with Saffron Rice

Got a new recipe for you today! Aren’t you excited!!? It seemed blog worthy enough because it turned out looking so pretty. I mean, it tastes pretty good too, but I really fell in love with the colors!! Saffron is one of those spices that probably never gets touched in most home kitchens. Not only is it a hard to find ingredient, it is also highly expensive. I am not really sure what makes it so expensive. Regardless, it was one of those intriguing spices that would lure me every time I did run across it. I made a run to our local Indian food store a few weeks back and happened to see a small little box of red thread! Saffron! And it was affordable! I couldn’t resist that time.

I have to admit however, that even though the saffron was very pretty in the rice, I cannot vouch that it was entirely all that flavorful. Not sure what saffron is suppose to taste like?! Maybe I got a bad, cheap-o batch of the stuff? Maybe that’s why it is usually far more expensive? I did notice a subtle flavor, kind of earthy, but I am not sure I’d spend money on that flavor. All that to be said…feel free to make this dish without the addition of saffron…unless you really just want pretty rice to accompany it! In that case, I don’t judge either way. Just don’t blow your grocery budget on the stuff. And maybe I am wrong after all and saffron really does taste amazing. In which case, save up and buy some good stuff!

Photo Mar 05, 1 18 13 PM

On another note. Green olives. I know some love them and some hate them. My husband, as adventurous as he is and usually willing to try just about anything, really does not like olives. He did nearly freak out when he saw them in the pot. Lol. For this reason, I chose to keep the olives whole so they can easily be fished out by those who are less than enthusiastic about them. No problema…more for ME! However, I do think that you should add the olive brine irregardless of if you like olives or not. It adds a very subtle salty flavor that is unmatched. My husband had no problem with that flavor. I just fished out the green orbs before serving him his plate. No complaints after that 😉 If you positively cannot stand the olives, maybe add some capers and caper juice in place of them. If you love olives however, I would suggest chopping them so the flavor is more evenly distributed. Ok that’s a long enough spiel about olives.

 Photo Mar 05, 1 20 47 PM

Hacienda Chicken

  • 3 T butter
  • ½ large onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (use two cups diced fresh tomatoes if you wish!)
  • 2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 lb of chicken cuts of choice (we use boneless/skinless thighs)
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup green olives (sliced if everyone likes them or leave them whole if you have someone who doesn’t like them and wants to pick them out!)
  • ¼ cup of brine from the green olives (pour it out of the jar!)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
  • Fresh parsley for serving


Heat butter in Dutch oven (or large pot) and add onions. Saute onions until translucent 3-5 mins. Add garlic and saute for one minute. Toss mushrooms in now and continue to saute for just a couple minutes. Add your diced tomatoes, broth/water, parsley, paprika and chicken. Bring to a simmer and let cook until chicken is done. If you are using chicken breasts or thighs, prob about 20-30 minutes. Near the end of the cooking time, add the white wine, olives and olive brine. Salt to taste. Turn burner off and sprinkle feta cheese over the dish. Serve over saffron rice if you really want to be fancy! A sprinkle of fresh parsley would be oh so lovely too. We ate ours with sauteed kale and garlic.

 Photo Mar 03, 5 27 13 PM

Erica’s Quick-Easy Saffron Rice

  • 3 cups chicken broth or water
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 ½ cups white basamati rice


Bring broth, butter, salt and saffron to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add rice and stir once. Cover pot and set timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, make sure all your water is absorbed and take pot off the stove and set aside for a few minutes. Fluff rice with fork and serve.

Photo Mar 03, 5 38 19 PMEnjoy!!

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