Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF.
Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. In a straight-sided 10- or 11- inch ovenproof sauté pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan (it’ll be crowded), cover with a splatter screen, if you have one, and cook until deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other sides are deeply browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Pour out and discard all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan.
Put the pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it’s soft and begins to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and cumin and stir into the onions for about 1 minute. Pour in the carrot juice and broth and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, along with any accumulated juices. If using prunes or apricots, add them now. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise for 15 minutes. Add the dates, if using, and continue to braise until the chicken is fork-tender and the drumstick meat starts to come away from the bone, 30 to 35 minutes more.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and dried fruit to a serving dish and keep warm by covering the dish loosely with foil. Tilt the sauté pan and skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, and serve.
Pair it with a dry rosé from California or southern France, like the Sola Rosa from California.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
sat fat g
Photo: Scott Phillips