Chicken with Prunes and Chiles

Chicken with Prunes and Chiles

This recipe is courtesy of Florence Fabricant, originally published in The New York Times. Photo is by Meredith Heuer. The recipe calls for a whole chicken cut into pieces but we find chicken thighs or drumsticks (or a mix of both) make for a great substitute.

"Start with a chicken, cut up and ready to sauté, and it’s easy to follow many routes to a finished dish. Here the meat is bathed in a sauce with a musky, chile-fueled bite that is made to behave by plump, sweet prunes. But the dish could also use a vehicle for its abundant, complex sauce. Mashed white or sweet potatoes, soft polenta, tender white beans or plain steamed rice would all be suitable choices." — Florence Fabricant

Serves 4


  • chicken, cut in 10 pieces, backbone and wingtips removed or chicken thighs or drumsticks or a mix of both
  • dried ancho chiles
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • small red onion, chopped
  • large cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fino sherry
  • 1 tbsp red miso
  • 16 pitted prunes
  • 2 tbsp Pedro Ximenez vinegar, or other sweet vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves


Place chiles in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside. Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Dry chicken and dust pieces with salt and pepper. Sear on medium-high heat until browned on both sides, removing pieces to a platter when done. Reduce heat to low.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Dust with cumin, stir, and then add stock and sherry. Combine, scraping residue from the bottom of the pan, and stir in miso. Remove from heat.

Drain chiles, cut in half and remove seeds and cores. Chop chiles and add to sauce along with prunes. Stir.

Return chicken and any chicken juices to pan, basting with sauce. Cover and simmer on low 20 minutes, basting once more, until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove meat to a serving dish. Add vinegar to pan, bring to a simmer and stir. Add salt if needed, and a little water, if sauce has reduced too much. Spoon sauce and prunes over chicken. Scatter cilantro on top and serve.