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Cherry, saffron & chicken pilaf

Cherry, saffron & chicken pilaf

Bursting with flavour and colour, Martha Collison's one-pot pilaf is a fantastic quick midweek meal.

5 out of 5 stars(1) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare10 mins
  • Cook15 mins
  • Total time25 mins

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 300g pack No.1 Free Range Corn Fed Diced Chicken Breast
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Sour Cherries
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 100g cherries, pitted and halved
  • 35g pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish, then add the onion. Cook over a gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.

  2. Meanwhile, wash the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Set aside. Crush the saffron strands between your fingertips into a small ramekin, pour over 2 tbsp hot water, then leave to infuse.

  3. Add the chicken to the onions and fry for 2 minutes, or until browned all over – try not to cook for too long at this stage or the chicken will dry out. Add the rice, cinnamon and sour cherries and stir to combine.

  4. Pour in the stock, season, then stir briefly to make sure all the grains of rice are covered. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and turn the heat down as low as you can and cook for 13 minutes. Open the lid and stir in the saffron and its liquid, ½ the pitted cherries, ½ the pistachios and most of the parsley. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes, or until soft all the way through, and the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat and the juices run clear.

  5. Turn off the heat and take off the lid. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel, then place the lid over the top. This will absorb any excess moisture. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and top with the remaining herbs, nuts and fruit.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,011kJ/ 479kcals



Saturated Fat












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Overall rating (5/5)

5 out of 5 stars1 rating