Chicken Medallions with Saffron Sauce


These lovely chicken medallions with fragrant saffron sauce  was part of the special Thanksgiving meal. Well, my family was delighted to see this gorgeous colorful platter. The chicken medallions were poached  with some veggies & lightly spiced with a mix of Indian spices. The highlight was the saffron sauce which was creamy & smooth with a hint of saffron & dill.

Dill is a herb with a very strong flavor & should be used in moderation. It has great culinary uses, medicinal & health value, is rich in vitamins & minerals. In India, especially in Maharashtra it is cooked as a vegetable/subzi & eaten with Indian breads (rotis, phulkas & bhakris).

The chicken medallions  with saffron sauce & colorful veggies is very nutritious, healthy & delicious!   This recipe is elaborate but if you are organized in your pre-preparation then it is really very easy & quick…

While browsing through my old hand written recipes, I came across this recipe which I felt should be a part of the thanksgiving meal this year. So here is the recipe for you… We enjoyed it & I hope you will too! 😀

For Poaching the Chicken :

  • 500 gms. Chicken Breasts (washed & cut into pieces)
  • 1 med Onion (peeled & diced)
  • 1 Carrot (peeled & diced)
  • 1 stick Celery
  • 4-5 Peppercorns
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 2 Green Cardamoms(lightly bruised)
  • 3 cups Water
  • Salt to taste

Here we go poaching the Chicken…

Place the chicken pieces in a sufficiently large & deep pot/dekchi/handi. Add in about 3 cups of water, salt & bring it to a rolling boil. Skim off the floating impurities & then add in the diced onion & carrot, celery stick & the spices. Poach the chicken till the chicken & the vegetables are cooked & tender. Let the chicken steep in the juices for about 30 mins. Separate the chicken pieces; debone if using chicken with bone & process in a food processor/masala grinder/blender till chicken is mashed & fairly smooth. Keep aside.

Now it is time to flavor the chicken & then bind it into medallions…

  • 2 tsp. fresh Garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. Red Chili Flakes
  • ½ tsp. Cumin pwd.
  • 3 Spring Onions (separately chop the bulbs & greens)
  • 3 tsp. Dry White Wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Parsley or Coriander Leaves (finely chopped)
  • 3-4 tbsps. White Sauce (Refer Mixed Vegetable Cheese Bake) or just enough to bind
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In a pan, heat butter. Saute, garlic, chopped onion bulbs, red chili flakes, cumin pwd., spring onion greens  & parsley/coriander leaves. Add the pulsed chicken, wine & seasoning to taste. Stir till well blended. Remove from heat & set aside to cool down completely. When cool, mix in the white sauce thoroughly. Divide the chicken mixture into portions & shape into medallions & keep aside.

For the Saffron Sauce :

  • 150 ml. Milk
  • 2 tbsps. Cream
  • A few strands of Saffron (Kesar)
  • A pinch or two of chopped Dill (Sua/Shepu)
  • Salt to taste

Let’s prepare the Saffron Sauce…

Heat the milk with the saffron strands to bring out the saffron flavor & then add cream.  Check the seasoning & allow the sauce to thicken over low heat. Keep warm to retain pouring consistency.

To prepare Pan Fried Vegetables …

  • 50 gms. Cauliflower  (break or cut into flowerettes)
  • 2 Carrots (peeled)
  • 50 gms. French Beans
  • 50 gms. Baby Corn
  • 6-8 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp. Butter/Olive Oil
  • A pinch or two of Italian herbs & dill

Wash & drain the vegetables thoroughly. Cut the carrots, baby corn & French beans into diamond shapes. Blanch the vegetables except the cherry tomatoes with salt to taste. Drain the vegetables & keep aside. Sauté the vegetables with garlic & butter/olive oil & then sprinkle herbs & dill just before serving…

Here’s how you go about arranging the platter…

On a serving platter or individual plates, arrange the chicken medallions encircled with sautéed vegetables & cherry tomatoes. Pour saffron sauce over the medallions & sprinkle some more dill if you like. Serve immediately.

Tips & Variations:

  1. Do not discard the chicken & vegetable stock as it can be used for soups or even in pulaos, biryanis or any dish which calls for stock.
  2. Use dill/sua/shepu sparingly as the flavor of this herb is very strong…excessive use will overpower the final dish.
  3. You can fry the medallions if you like.
  4. Any combination of your favorite vegetables may be used.
  5. The use of butter or oil is purely up to you.

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