Chicken with Sour Cherries, Caramelized Onions, and Lots of Dill

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

I’ve lost track of this dish’s origin story—Was I thinking Persian when I first made this? Indian? Moroccan?—but it’s shown up frequently on our table in the last year or so, for the best reasons: My family loves it, it’s fairly unfussy, and it requires only a couple of fresh ingredients (chicken, dill).

You can certainly use boneless, skinless chicken thighs here instead of whole ones—use about 2 pounds (910 g) or a little more. And if you prefer a sweeter complement to the turmeric chicken, use golden raisins or diced dried apricots, figs, or dates in place of the sour cherries—they’ll all be great.


  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup (35 g) dried sour cherries
  • 2 sweet onions, diced
  • ½ cup (25 g) chopped fresh dill, including tender stems



In a cup, combine the paprika, turmeric, teaspoons salt, and several grindings of pepper. Put the chicken in the slow cooker and toss it with the spice mixture to coat. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until the skin is nicely browned and has rendered a good deal of fat, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the thighs to the slow cooker, nestling them in the pot skin side up. Pour the fat from the skillet, then pour ½ cup (120 ml) water into the hot skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Pour into the cooker around the thighs. Scatter the cherries over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Morning or Evening

To the chicken-browning pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and place over medium heat. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat and/or adding a splash of water, if needed, to keep the onions from sticking and burning, until they are nicely browned and very soft, about 20 minutes. If doing this in the morning, scrape into a container, cover, and refrigerate.


Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl, then fold the onions and dill into the sauce in the cooker, season with salt and pepper, if needed, then return the chicken to the sauce and heat through. Serve.