Catalan chicken with prunes
- Buford Jan 3, 2005 10:32 AM
I recently went to Barcelona, and the best thing I ate there is a Catalan dish called chicken with prunes. The particular version that I ate also included pine nuts and something that I think was dried tomatoes. I would like to cook this dish for myself, but I can't find a recipe that I am confident in. Does anyone have a good recipe for Catalan chicken with prunes?
I am not very good at finding recipes on the Internet, and I would much appreciate any help.
The classic would appear to be Pato a la Catalana: duck with prunes and pine nuts, a dish that is also made with chicken or rabbit, according to Penelope Casas in her book, Delicioso, but she only provides a recipe for duck.
In a very old New York Times cookbook, there is a recipe for chicken braised with prunes, plantains, carrots and etc. First time I made it the carrots didn't taste appropriate, so after that I substituted sweet potato and that made things right. Now I make it whenever the sight of a plantain in the store inspires me.
There was no discussion of the provenance of this recipe, so have no idea if it's African, Arab, Caribbean or what.
I had thought about directing the OP to Chicken Marbella, but that dish is really a catering dish (I realize that people happily make it at home, but it got popularized in catering circuits where the Silver Palate reigned before the Barefoot Contessa, but I digress) that is best described as inspired by a a few different Iberian and perhaps Sicilian dishes. I suspect the OP is looking for something more authentic.
The reason I did not post a paraphrase of the duck recipe is because duck is handled quite a bit differently than chicken, so the recipe would necessarily have to be adapted for chicken.
What you are describing is a very, very typical Catalan Christmas dish. It's called: pollastre farcit amb prunes i pinyons. Funny, you never see this dish here in Madrid (here Christmas is all about lamb and sea bream).
As I remember, it's essentially a chicken roasted in a cazuela with prunes, pinenuts, a bit of lard, and some butifarra (sausage). Some add cava, others orange juice. I have a friend who makes a great rendition. I'll try to get her recipe and post back, but it might take a few days...
This is one dish that you should be able to replicate fairly well in the US.