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Moroccan Chicken with Prunes

Chicken cooked in a flavorful fruity sauce made with prunes, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces

1 onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup pitted prunes

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted lightly

Instructions

In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Sauté the chicken, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper, until it is golden, and transfer it with tongs to a platter. In the remaining fat in the skillet, cook the onion and the garlic over moderately low heat, stirring, until they are softened. Add the saffron mixture, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and 1 1/2 cups water.

Bring the liquid to a boil; add the chicken with any juices that have accumulated on the platter and the prunes. Simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the breast meat is springy to the touch and the dark meat is tender. Transfer the chicken and the prunes to the platter, and keep them warm, covered loosely with foil. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and boil it until it is thickened. Season the sauce with the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the chicken and prunes with the sesame seeds and serve the sauce separately.

Gourmet/November 1985