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 www.yelp.com
- 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.