Gayna kon Manzana

Chicken with Apples and Apricots

La table juive calls this Turkish recipe “chicken with apples, ” but the apricots are an integral part of the dish and an important flavoring for the sauce; thus I have included them in the English title. Although the original recipe calls for marinating the chicken and dried fruits in the same bowl, I think it is better to soak the fruits separately. They don’t need much time to soften, but you might want the chicken to marinate longer, even as long as overnight, to pick up the flavors of the spices and wine. Sometimes dried prunes are added along with the apricots and sometimes only prunes are used. Occasionally, no fresh apples are added! I imagine that this dish could be made with mixed dried fruits, including dried apples, and be delicious as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 roasting chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, cut into serving pieces, or 8 chicken pieces
  • 3 cups dry white wine, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
  • ½ pound dried apricots
  • 3 pounds tart green apples such as granny smith or pippin, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • salt
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted

Method

Rinse the chicken pieces and place in a shallow bowl. In a small bowl, stir together about cups of the wine, the honey, ginger, ground cinnamon, pepper, and mace. Rub this mixture over the chicken pieces, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or as long as overnight.

Place the apricots in another bowl and add the remaining cups wine or as needed to cover. In a saucepan, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, sugar, and water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and parboil for 8 minutes. Drain, reserving the poaching liquid. Discard the cinnamon stick and set the apples and liquid aside separately.

Warm the oil in a large stew pot or other large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt, and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and their marinade, the soaked apricots and their soaking liquid, and the apple poaching liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is almost cooked, 25 to 30 minutes. Check the level of the liquid from time to time and add water as needed to prevent the apricots from scorching.

Add the apples and continue to simmer until the chicken and apples are tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a deep platter, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and serve.