Pollo Saporito {Zesty Chicken}

Pollo Saporito {Zesty Chicken} is the perfect name for this chicken – it’s definitely! It has big bold flavors and the most amazing color. Isn’t it  incredible how just a pinch of saffron can transform a dish! It’s like an explosion of sun for the senses, or better yet, liquid gold!

Don’t let the ingredient list fool  you, it’s not complicated. Actually once you brown the chicken it’s pretty much just set it and forget it {with the occasional stir here and there} I love  cooking with my dutch oven. It’s a sassy bright red, incredibly beautiful and goes from stove to oven to tabletop {probably my favorite feature because it’s less dishes for moi}

If you wanted to do this with a whole chicken cut into pieces, go ahead! I like thighs because they’re all fairly uniform in size {meaning they’ll cook at the same rate} it’s a nice portion size, not too much, not too little {and who am I kidding they are always very reasonably priced}

After the chicken braises it goes under the broiler for a quick crisp. And then it’s topped off with that decadent saffron laced sauce. Oh mamma!


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Pollo Saporito {Zesty Chicken}

What you’ll need:
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves – crushed
2 pounds chicken thighs – washed and patted dry
1 onion – minced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh Parsley – roughly chopped
pinch of ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 gram saffron
1 cup green olives
zest of 1 lemon

What to do:
1. Into a large dutch oven or deep sided pan, add the oil, butter and allow to melt over low heat. Once melted, add the crushed garlic and place the chicken thighs skin down. Brown chicken until lightly golden. Turning as necessary.

2. Add the onion, parsley, coriander, ground ginger and season well with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.Continue to cook over medium-high heat for approximately 10 minutes. Turning as necessary.

3. WHILE the chicken is cooking to two cups of warm water add the saffron. Stir to combine and set aside. When the chicken has cooked for ten minutes. Add the saffron infused water. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for approx 40 minutes until chicken is tender.

4. Remove chicken from dutch oven and place onto a cooking sheet and into the oven under the broiler for approx 5 minutes or until skin is slightly crispy .

5. WHILE the chicken is under the broiler, add the olives and lemon zest to the sauce. Stir to combine and allow sauce to reduce.

6. Transfer chicken to serving plate and top with sauce.

Buon Appetito!


  1. 1

    i’ll take zesty chicken anytime! i love the addition of saffron…yum!

  2. 2
    Nicole Carey /

    This looks so yummy! This might be dinner tonight.

  3. 3

    Liquid gold is a great description. This looks so juicy and savory!

  4. 4

    Paula this looks delicious! I have leftover saffron and was looking for a recipe to use it in! Thanks for the post!!

  5. 5

    Two of my favorite ingredients: saffron and olives! It looks very saporito!brava Paula! 🙂

  6. 6

    Paula this looks beyond incredible! The zesty chicken sounds sooo good and your pictures make me want to cook this right now! Thanks for sharing another fantastic recipe. 🙂

  7. 7

    Ok, I have a question. Does saffron have a taste or is it just for color? I’ve never used it and have never heard anyone say anything about it’s flavor. Just wondering. Thanks Paula, you rock!! I will be trying this really soon. 🙂

    • 7.1

      Hi Tonda- Yes, saffron does have a taste. For me, it’s somewhat earthy and has hints of honey flavor. You let me know what you think when you try it ; ) xoxo

  8. 8

    I just fell in love with this recipe! I have a bunch of saffron that I am dying to use, this is perfect, thank you for sharing!

  9. 9

    Looks and sounds delicious. I will make this one soon and let you know how it goes. Thanks.

  10. 10

    Looks sensational – what more can I say?!

  11. 11

    Coriander, ginger, saffron, olives – I’m sold! The sauce looks so flavorful.

  12. 12

    Coriander & saffron – anything that has that combination has me sold. I brought back some lovely saffran from the center region in France where they are known for it – may give it a try with this recipe.

  13. 13

    Saporito indeed! Adding saffron sounds like a nice touch–will have to try this!

  14. 14
    lisa bailey /

    Just made this for dinner and it was super, super delicious. Thanks Paula, for another great recipe.

  15. 15

    I love chicken recipes that are heavy on flavor 🙂 This one looks delicious!

  16. 16

    Congratulations on making the Top 9

  17. 17

    congratulations on your top 9!

  18. 18

    This chicken looks so good and flavorful!!

  19. 19

    mmm… that is some delicious looking gooey goodness…

  20. 20

    I had to bookmark this–looks so good! I’m always on the hunt for new chicken recipes. Thanks!

  21. 21

    Incredible–I want some!

  22. 22
    Alda /

    I was luckly enough to have been invited to dinner for zesty chicken…it was great, not only very yummy but also a very pretty dish.

  23. 23

    It looks fantastic. The saffron adds a rich color to the sauce on it. I can’t imagine how heavenly it smelled while cooking. Beautiful photography!

  24. 24

    I bet the chicken will go very well with the rice. Looks delicious!

  25. 25

    Paula, you just KILL ME with the photos!! even after eating lunch, i want to make this dish – heavens, the chicken, the olives, the spices . . . WOW!!

  26. 26

    Now I need to go pick up some saffron, thank you…I have been trying to find an excuse to buy some!

  27. 27

    This looks so delicious! I bet that bit of saffron makes all the difference. Yum!


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