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Braised Chicken and Tomatoes with Garlic and Dried Fruits

4 Servings

1¼ hours 50 minutes active

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Pollo a la catalana, or chicken simmered with wine and dried fruits, is a classic cool weather dish in the Catalonia region of Spain. A contrast of savory flavors and sweet accents characterizes the elegant braise, but there are no hard and fast rules to preparing it. Barcelona home cook Cali Caparrós Sanchez taught us her version, which is studded with apricots and prunes and spiked with a good measure of brandy. Picada—a blended or pounded pesto-like mix of olive oil, herbs, nuts, garlic and a starchy element such as bread or crackers to act as a binder—is customarily stirred into the dish at the finish. Sanchez added a parsley and almond picada to her braise. We adapted her recipe, and in our version, we make a mix of olive oil, grated garlic, chopped parsley and chopped smoked almonds (roasted or Marcona almonds are good, too) to spoon onto the braise just before serving. The smoked almonds may be unconventional, but their smokiness adds depth similar to pimentón. This simpler approach allowed the flavors of the braise to be clearer and brighter. Serve with crusty bread and a simple salad.




Don’t cover the pot when simmering the chicken. Allowing evaporation concentrates the braising liquid for richer flavor and consistency in the finished sauce. That said, don’t simmer too vigorously or the liquid may over-reduce and the dish will be left with too little sauce. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the liquid bubbling steadily but not approaching a boil.

1¼ hours

50 minutes active


  • ¾

    cup brandy

  • ¾

    cup pitted prunes


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Donna T.
September 18, 2023
Extremely flavorful and rich.
I made this for my grandchildren (who are sometimes picky eaters). They both loved the chicken and used bread to sop up the delicious sauce (which I cooked to a jammy texture, after the chicken had been removed). For ease I did process all the ingredients for the topping in a mini food processor. The smoked almonds added such subtle different to the taste. They brandy soaked dried fruit cooked to soft morsels and added a slightly sweet taste that was devine. Over all it was an outstanding dish.
Jeffrey G.
August 15, 2023
Wonderful combination. It pleased everyone, although their tastes vary widely.
Elaine B.
August 21, 2023
Delicious but needs tweaking
Suggestions based on my experience: 1) Buy bone-in/skin-on thighs and debone them yourself. Makes eating the chicken so much easier and you still get the crispy skin. 2) Cut the apricots and prunes in half, or quarters; they will soak up more of the brandy and cook down to better flavor the sauce. 3) Add more shaved garlic and another tablespoon of oil to the parsley mixture. Overall, the dish was delicious but could stand some refinement in preparation and easier eating.
Diana L.
September 18, 2023
Not as good as I thought it would be
Alot of steps to prep and cook and at the end it was not as good.