Make Ahead

Roasted Chicken with Almonds, Apricots and Cognac

February  8, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 1 2-4 lb Pasture Raised Chicken
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 4 Medium Carrots
  • 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 cup Dried Pitted Prunes
  • 1 cup Dried Apricots
  • 1 Jar Peeled Whole Tomatoes (18oz)
  • 3/4 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 2 tablespoons Coarse Salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Cognac
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 3 tablespoons Honey
  1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Peel the garlic cloves but do not chop. Add them to the baking dish whole, distributing them throughout the dish.
  6. Drizzle the olive oil and honey over the chicken pieces and the vegetables.
  7. Add the apricots and the prunes to the dish. Leave them whole.
  8. Add the slivered almonds, sprinkling them over the top of the other ingredients.
  9. 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.
  10. Finally pour the water and the cognac over the dish.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
  • nycnomad

17 Reviews

Regine November 12, 2015
Nycomad, just lettimg you know that after eating my last leftover today (2nd day since I made it), I find your chicken and its sauce/medley of onions, garlic, tomates, dried prunes and apricots (which to me has turned into a "confit") ultra delicious. It is one of those dishes that taste even better as they age. Good dish to make for a party. Planning on making it again this weekend. Thanks!
nycnomad November 12, 2015
Regine November 11, 2015
Nycnomad, I made your chicken and it was delicious. I bought a 4 lb whole chicken cut up already, and grass fed (at Whole Foods). Even with me using 2 tbsp (as per your original list of ingredients, and equivalent to 6 tsp) coarse salt instead of 2 tsp, the chicken was not really salty. I am therefore thinking that 2 tsp coarse salt may not be enough, at least for me. But I think that next time I may instead use 4 tsp coarse salt just for the sake of being more "sodium conscious." 3 things though. First, it took me more than 1 hour for the chicken to be cooked to my satisfaction, but I admit it may be because I need a new oven. Second, I think that the next time I make it I will see if I can get the chicken without the skin. Third, I myself may skip the cinnamon next time. Although quite tasty, I admit that I prefer to limit my use of cinnamon to cakes and other sweets. The sauce was quite tasty; and I can see someone eat your wonderful dish with some steamed white rice and/or some nice rustic bread to soak up the sauce. Plus, this is a great make-ahead dish. My chicken tasted even better the day after. I made it last night; and had some today for lunch. Thanks for your great recipe.

PS - My "lack of love affair" with chicken skin is that I don't like it when it is soggy. The sauce somehow made it a bit soggy, so this is why next time I will remove the skin. I may also one day replace the 4 lb chicken with 4 lb selection of skinless legs and/or thighs.
nycnomad November 11, 2015
Thank you for the feedback. Personally I am all for improvisation when cooking. I use recipes more as a guideline and less of as a step by step how to. I hope that people take these recipes and swap and change and cook so that each become a favorite for them in their own style. I do thank you for the feedback though. Keep on cooking!
Regine November 10, 2015
Oops. I just put it in oven and as i was diligently following your instructions step by step, I used 2 tbsp (per instructions) coarse salt although you meant 2 tsp (per your comment). May be overly salty. I will wait and see how it comes out once it is done cooking.
nycnomad November 10, 2015
Oh crap. Sorry about that. I did put or to taste because everyone is different and I am not a strict measurer, more of an improviser for sure. But hopefully there will be enough sweet to balance it out...and in this case I definitely wouldn't reduce the sauce at the end.
Regine November 10, 2015
Thanks. In that case you need to fix ingredients. 0). You wrote 2 tbsp instead of 2 tsp. I will let you know how my chicken turns out.
nycnomad November 10, 2015
Thanks. I have made all of the changes you mentioned and a typo. If you see anything else don't hesitate to mention it. I hope you enjoy the dish.
Regine November 10, 2015
Sorry. i meant to specify 2 Tbsp salt.
nycnomad November 10, 2015
I was using a very coarse sea salt so it was 2 tsp. If you are using ground salt, much less!
Regine November 10, 2015
I think I will make it for dinner tonight or tomorrow. One last question. Is it really 2 tablespoon/tbsp (which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons), or 2 teaspoon/tsp?
Regine November 10, 2015
Thanks Nycnomad!
Regine November 10, 2015
Also, I think you are missing the tomatoes in the instructions. Maybe you meant for them to be added in step 10?
nycnomad November 10, 2015
You are right I did forget. You are adding the tomatoes but not the juice, so the 1 cup of water cooks away and leaves a thick rich vegetable confit.
Regine November 10, 2015
correction: thighs. D)
Regine November 10, 2015
This looks good. Question though. Wouldn't the sauce, after the chicken is cooked, benefit from some sort of reduction? I will try to make, but maybe substitute a whole chicken cut in halves or quarters with the equivalent amount (in pound) of already cut up chicken pieces (thights, legs, breast, etc.).
nycnomad November 10, 2015
I believe I gave directions for a whole chicken to be quartered but you can use pieces if you prefer. I like the quartered chicken myself.