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Jan 3, 2005 10:32 AM

Catalan chicken with prunes

  • b

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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. This sounds similar to a recipe discussed a few weeks ago for a dish called Chicken Marbella. Here's the link:


        1 Reply
        1. re: DanaB

          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.

          1. 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.