2 large free-range eggs
1.5kg free-range chicken
1 tsp cardamom pods (about 10)
½ tsp loosely packed saffron strands
½ tsp coriander seeds
1cm-piece cinnamon stick
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
10 black peppercorns
6 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp olive oil
20g crustless white bread
1 large onion, finely chopped
200ml dry Sherry or dry white wine
200ml chicken stock
2 fresh bay leaves
65g blanched almonds
40g pine nuts
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Boil the eggs for 10 mins. Cool, then peel. Joint the chicken – cut the legs away from the body, cut them in half at the joint, then skin each of the pieces. Remove the breasts from either side of the carcass, taking the wings with them. Cut off the bottom two joints of each wing and set aside with the rest of the carcass for making stock.
Skin the breasts and detach the little fillets from the underside of each one. Cut the breasts into 2 evenly sized pieces and set aside with the drumsticks, thighs, and fillets.
Lightly crush the cardamom pods so the husks split open and remove seeds. Discard the husks and add the seeds to a spice grinder with the saffron, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and peppercorns. Grind to a fine powder. Heat 4 tbsp of the olive oil in a shallow flameproof casserole or large deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the whole garlic cloves and slice of bread and fry, turning over once, for about 2 mins or until golden on both sides. Transfer to the bowl of a mini food processor.
Season the chicken pieces lightly, then add them to the pan and fry until lightly golden on both sides. Remove and set aside on a plate. Add another tbsp of olive oil to the pan and fry the onion for 10 mins, or until soft and sweet but not browned. Stir in the ground spices, cook for 1 min, then add the Sherry or wine and stock. Return chicken to the pan, add the bay leaves and season with ½ tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook gently for 40 mins, turning the chicken pieces over every now and then until tender.
Heat a frying pan and dry-roast 40g of the almonds for 2 mins, then the pine nuts for 1 min. Leave to cool, then add to the mini food processor with the yolks from the hard-boiled eggs and 10-12 tbsp of the chicken cooking liquid. Whizz everything to a smooth paste. Coarsely chop the remaining almonds and set to one side.
Lift out the chicken pieces into a warmed serving dish. Cover and keep hot. Add the nut paste to the sauce, return to a low heat and simmer, stirring for 1 min or so until nicely thickened. Stir in the lemon juice, adjust seasoning to taste and pour over the chicken.
Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, add the chopped almonds and stir-fry for a few secs until lightly golden brown. Scatter over the chicken with the chopped parsley and serve.