Cinnamon Chicken Tajine with Prunes and Apricots
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 2 chickens, about 3 1/2 pounds each, each cut into 8 pieces, or 16 breasts, thighs and legs, any combination, rinsed and dried well
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 large onions (about 2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, ground, powdered or crushed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long
- 2 cups pitted prunes
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1/4 cup honey
Heat a large skillet, paella pan or large roasting pan, set over two burners, over medium-high heat. Add almonds and toast, stirring, until lightly colored, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat half of the oil in the pan over medium heat. Working in batches, add chicken and saute until brown, turning once, about 12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter and set aside. If the oil or browned bits in the pan have burned, wipe out the pan.
Add remaining oil to the pan. Add onions and saute, stirring, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to the pan. Add saffron to stock, and pour over chicken. Add cinnamon, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer the white meat to the platter. Add prunes and apricots to the pan and simmer until the rest of the chicken is done, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to the platter and discard the cinnamon sticks. Add honey to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until liquid is syrupy and coats a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. Return chicken to the pan, baste with sauce, cover and warm. Transfer all to a warmed platter, sprinkle with almonds, and serve.