Braised chicken drumstick fillets with prunes and saffron


This simple one-pot braise takes inspiration from a Persian dish called khoresht aloo, which literally translates as 'prune stew'. Persian cooking masterfully combines the sweetness of fruit with savoury, meaty flavours, and chicken drumstick fillets and prunes make perfect bedfellows. That pairing forms a solid foundation for this dish, and the addition of cumin, turmeric and garlic (along with aromatic saffron and a good handful of coriander) makes this as delicious as it is easy to put together.

First published in 2019

This one-pot feeds four people in a pinch, and potentially more if you serve with a few sides – we love eating this with some wilted seasonal greens, but you could also omit the split peas and eat it with rice instead.

Braising is a fantastic way to cook drumstick fillets – keep your pan at a gentle simmer and the chicken will be beautifully tender after 45 minutes, absorbing all the delicious flavours in the pot.





Place a large sauté pan or casserole dish over a high heat and add a splash of oil. Season the drumstick fillets with salt and pepper and sear them in the pan for 5 minutes on each side until golden
Transfer the drumstick fillets to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil. Lower the heat to medium and sweat the sliced onion in the same pan until soft and just starting to caramelise (about 10 minutes)
Add the crushed garlic, tomato paste, cumin, turmeric and Aleppo chilli flakes and fry for another minute until fragrant
Add the seared drumstick fillets back into the pan along with the split peas, chicken stock and prunes. Bring to a gentle simmer
Grind the saffron in a pestle and mortar with the sugar, then mix with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Leave for 5 minutes to bloom, then add to the stew. Taste the sauce at this point and adjust the seasoning as necessary, as this is the liquid that will flavour the split peas.
Put a lid on the pan and cook at a gentle simmer for 40 minutes, or until the split peas are cooked through – they will absorb lots of liquid so check them half way through and add a bit of extra liquid if necessary. Finish with a tablespoon of sherry vinegar and a handful of coriander leaves.
First published in 2019

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