I made my attempt. It's not pretty, and the plating is sad, but I was late for other appointments. Took longer in the prep and cooking than I expected.
Built a rub of ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, chile pepper, smoked paprika, turmeric and saffron. Made about 50% more than my reference recipes suggested. I'll explain why below.
Season chicken thighs. I slit along the bone on the hopes it would make for easy removal late in the cooking. Just an idea that occurred to me at the time. I chose bone in and skin on because I wanted the rendered fat and the flavor from the bone.
Season the skin side.
Into a hot dutch oven, this is technically an 8 quart stock pot with a tablespoon of butter. The high sides helped control the oil splattering.
Flip when browned.
This is essentially a braise. And braised chicken skin is unpleasant. So I removed the skin and seasoned the now exposed flesh. Those other two thighs are cooking a little slower. I wasn't evenly over my gas burner I suppose. This is why I wanted extra seasoning. I wanted a fully seasoned thigh but knew I would be pulling the skin.
Flip and cook the now skinless side again.You'll notice there is a fair amount of rendered fat. I ended up pouring some off, but reserved it for possible later use depending how things turned out. It had plenty of flavor in it.
Toss the onions through the surplus rub on the baking sheet. No need to waste it.
Work up the fond and season with some extra rub. There was more and darker fond than I anticipated. This impacted the color of the final dish more than the saffron. Cook the onion slowly over medium low heat. You want it soft but not caramelized.
Add a little water and puree. This is an idea I've seen in Indian cooking and having just read it again it seemed something that could work well here.
Add extra seasoning, in this case the long cinammon stick and two dried lemons. Also add the vegetables, some roll cut carrots and triangular cut sweet potatoes.
Return the chicken to the pot and add the chickpeas. Add water sufficient to braise. Most recipes added the dried fruit later in the cooking. I used some crisp dried apples as that's what I had on hand. Being so crispy, I thought they'd benefit from longer cooking. Simmer about 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. Add some honey in the last 10 minutes, 1-2 tablespoons. At that last 10 minutes I tried to pull the bones. They didn't want come out cleanly or readily yet, so it was served with the bones in.
I used a whole wheat pearl cous cous that also hid the color of the saffron that seasoned it. Garnished with cilantro.Certainly darker than anticipated. If I'd used cream in the sauce as at the restaurant, it would probably be yellow. I used the surplus rendered seasoned chicken fat on the cous cous instead of butter.
I offered to crisp up squares of the seasoned chicken skin as a final garnish for anyone so interested. I had no takers.
The flavor was quite good, my wife liked it better than at the restaurant. But not a handsome presentation.