This recipe is a variation on a Catalan dish typically served at Christmas time. While the original recipe calls for prunes and pine nuts, I have opted for slivered almonds and added dried apricots into the mix. To me this is the ultimate in comfort meal. The onions and garlic caramelize in the sugars of the dried fruits, their flavors enriched by the ground cinnamon and smoked paprika, and to bind it all together…cognac. —nycnomad
If you have bought a whole chicken, then split the chicken in halves or quarters and place in a baking dish sufficiently deep to contain all of the ingredients. This will depend upon the size and weight of your bird.
Cut off the ends of the onion and discard. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and peel. Once peeled, cut the onion into thin half-rings. Break the rings apart as you add them to the baking dish.
Wash and peel the carrots. Trim the ends off and then cut them into 1/2 inch pieces. Add them to the baking dish. Drain the tomatoes and cut the pieces in half. Add them to the baking dish.
Peel the garlic cloves but do not chop. Add them to the baking dish whole, distributing them throughout the dish.
Drizzle the olive oil and honey over the chicken pieces and the vegetables.
Add the apricots and the prunes to the dish. Leave them whole.
Add the slivered almonds, sprinkling them over the top of the other ingredients.
Now you can add the spices. Sprinkle the salt, cinnamon, thyme and paprika over the mixture. Try to sprinkle the spices as evenly as possible.
Finally pour the water and the cognac over the dish.
Cover the dish either with aluminum foil OR with the cover to the baking dish, if it has one. Place in the center of the oven and allow it to roast, covered for 1 hour (or longer depending on the weight of your bird).
Uncover the dish and allow to cook for another 30 mins. Baste every 10-15 minutes to really bring out the color of the bird.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy.