How long should I soak the saffron for in Nigella's "Saffron Scented Chicken Pilaf" recipe?
Nigella's Saffron Scented Chicken Pilaf (from NIGELLA SUMMER) has tender yogurt-marinated chicken tossed with rice that is scented with saffron and cardamom. When using saffron, it helps to "bloom" it to bring out the flavour and colour.
Blooming involves soaking the spice in a little warm liquid. For this recipe you can put the saffron threads into the chicken stock at the same time as the chicken starts to marinate, so it would soak for about an hour. But as a general rule we would suggest soaking the saffron in warm liquid for about 10 minutes, if possible, or just soak the saffron for as long as possible if you are very short on time.