prune chicken

Tajine of Chicken with Prunes and Almonds Recipe

Chicken with Prunes is one of our Classic Tajines.

A friendly warning: You will never be able to speak disparagingly about the lowly prune again after you have tasted this magnificent dish, so find something – or someone -else to pick on. If you like dried apricots, substitute them for the prunes, or use half prunes half apricots. You might want to make chicken with prunes a day, even two in advance. Just be sure to add the sesame seeds and almonds immediately before serving so that they retain their crunch. Skip the sesame seeds on Passover, and double up on the almonds.


Photo courtesy


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium size onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • A dozen chicken pieces, skin on (half breasts, drumsticks, thighs)
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pitted prunes, packed (or apricots, or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted (skip on Passover)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (Passover: Increase to 1/2 cup)


Heat the oil in a large wide bottom pot . Add the onions  and cook on a medium-high flame, stirring occasionally, until dark. Add the sugar and cook 1 more minute: The mixture will caramelize. Add the chicken, saffron, turmeric, cinnamon sticks and ground pepper, and 3 cups water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-high, and cook  covered for 1  hour. Add the ground  cinnamon and the  prunes and cook another 15 minutes.  transfer the chicken and prunes to a serving platter with a slotted spoon. The liquid left in pot should be the consistency of maple syrup. If it is too thin, reduce on a high flame until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve hot.

Arrange chicken and sauce on platter. Just before serving top with the sesame seeds and almonds.

8 replies
  1. Johanna
    Johanna says:

    Your recipe is outstanding. We love it! Have you ever made it in a slow cooker? If so, what changes would I make to the recipe and how long would I cook it on low heat? Also, if I make it on the stove top and want to double it, do I need to increase the cooking time?

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Johanna Nonono whatever you do do NOT increase the cooking time. If you double the recipe, use a larger pot with a WIDE HEAVY bottom.
      In a crockpot: I don’t see the advantage. The total cooking time of the chicken is 1 hour, plus the last few minutes after you add the dry fruit. Plus you are frying the onions first. In other words, the dish has three steps that need to be done by you, two of which are not done in the crockpot. So you will end up with the crockpot PLUS the pot to fry the onions and to add the dry fruit. So: I wouldn’t. I love the crockpot, but for dishes that a. require no or low maintenance, b. can withstand the long cooking time.

  2. Susan
    Susan says:

    Levana – can I make the tajin with boneless chicken breasts? If so, does the amount of water reduce?


  3. Caryn
    Caryn says:

    I DID make your brisket. I was the one who asked about the cooking time. This is my first time using your recipes. I’ll let you know how things turn out. I cooked the brisket an extra half hour until it felt tender when pierced with a fork. Hope I didn’t overcook it, but it just felt too tough in my oven after 3 hours. Maybe my oven calibration is off.
    Chag Sameach, and thanks so much.

  4. Caryn Halbrecht
    Caryn Halbrecht says:

    How many does this serve? What adjustments would you make for a seder for 20 people, when I am also making a brisket? Thanks!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Good choice Caryyn! hope you are making my nrisket too1 Look in my seder menu file on my blog, I have two outrageous brisket recipes.
      This recipe will serve 8 to 10. I would say double it, and you will have 4-5 servings of each left after the seder.

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