My good friend, Sammia, came to visit me from Germany. She and I have been friends for a long time, but have not seen each other in years. She has two kids, one who is practicing basketball for the German Olympics. Her other son, who is also my friend, lives in Northern California. Sammia and I always have a good time together, and that was why I wanted to make something special for her.
This Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake is very simple to make, yet flavorful. Just saute the vegetables and the chicken, put it over rice and saffron and mushroom soup, then just put it in the oven to finish cooking. How simple is that? You can make it, and go enjoy yourself with your family or guests. Asparagus is a good accompaniment, with a nice white wine, perhaps Chardonnay.
Don’t be afraid of saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. You can usually buy saffron at gourmet stores, or Mediterranean stores, or Amazon has a good selection.
Put the uncooked rice in the casserole. Add the saffron threads.
Saute the garlic, onion and peppers together in olive oil. Remove from pan and set aside. Add a bit more olive oil to the pan, and saute the breasts til they are nicely browned on both sides, but not cooked through.
Mix the mushroom soup, milk, sherry, cheese and herbs in a bowl. Put the vegetables over the rice, and pour the soup mixture over. Lay the chicken breasts over the mixture, and cover with the French Fried Onions.