Chicken with Prunes and Pomegranate Molasses

I love pomegranate molasses.  It’s tartness and sweetness gives a wonderful taste to sauces, dressings, dips and even drinks.  It goes particularly well with chicken.  Scouring the web for a chicken pomegranate recipe I came across a one-pot Ottolenghi recipe for  Chicken with Prunes and Pomegranate Molasses.

Yotam Ottolenghi, the chef, restaurant owner,  food writer and author of several cookbooks is not as well known to non foodies in South Africa as Jamie or Nigella.  The  Ottolenghi deli’s in London are legendary though and their Instagram pics always looks divine.

Chicken with Prunes and Pomegranate Molasses

Adapted from an Ottolenghi recipe – you can find the original recipe here.


2kg chicken drumsticks and/or thighs
400g butternut, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
3 red onions, peeled and quartered
120g pitted prunes, chopped
200g couscous
20g oregano sprigs, chopped plus a few leaves to garnish
Pomegranate seeds to garnish (optional)

30g grated fresh ginger
100ml soy sauce
90ml pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp maple syrup
120g  chutney
½ tsp whole black peppercorns

The original recipe uses potato instead of butternut but I like the combination of butternut with the sweet yet tart flavour of the sauce. I added the peppers for more colour but feel free to leave it out.  I could not find the mango chutney that the recipe calls for so used ordinary fruit chutney.


In the original recipe you just mix  all the ingredients and put it into a casserole dish.  I had a bit of time so decided that marinating the chicken could only make it better.

Mix the ingredients for the sauce.  Marinade the chicken for a couple of hours or overnight.

Chicken with prunes and pomegranate molasses - an Ottolenghi recipe

Preheat your oven to 200C. Mix the chicken with the butternut, onion, peppers and prunes.  Place in a casserole dish.

Chicken with prunes and pomegranate molasses - an Ottolenghi recipe

Place the covered casserole dish in the oven for 10 minutes at 200C. Turn down the heat to 180C and cook for 2 hours.  Stir every now and then to make sure that the sauce does not stick to the dish.

After 2 hours take the dish from the oven and remove the chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Keep the chicken and veg warm.   Add the couscous to the pan and mix with the juices left in the dish.  Then add approximately 200ml boiling water to the couscous.  Stir with a fork to separate the grains, cover and leave for a couple of minutes.  Fluff the grains with a fork and return the chicken and vegetables to the dish. This is not in the original recipe but in my opinion couscous goes perfectly with this middle eastern style dish.

Garnish with the oregano and pomegranate seeds.

Chicken with prunes and pomegranate molasses - an Ottolenghi recipe

I took a little more time with this dish in terms of marinating the chicken and adding the couscous.  Even with these extra steps this is a very easy recipe to make.  And of course it was delicious.

We enjoyed our Ottolenghi inspired chicken with a bottle of Zonnenbloem Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.



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