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Braised Chicken Legs with Carrot Juice, Dates & Spices

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

The carrot juice and dates lend sweetness to this Moroccan-inspired braise. Serve over couscous or rice.


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on medium chicken thighs (1-1/2 to 1-3/4 lb.)
  • 4 chicken drumsticks (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/4 cups carrot juice
  • 3/4 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb. (10 to 12) Medjool dates, pitted and halved lengthwise (or 6 whole pitted prunes or dried apricots)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 550
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 24
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 105
  • Sodium (mg): 690
  • Carbohydrates (g): 56
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 33


  • 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.


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Reviews (16 reviews)

  • MontanaRick | 04/05/2019

    I have been making this dish since it first appeared in issue #82.

    For such a simple recipe, I always get raves at the table and I'm
    often asked what ingredients are in the concoction. Definitely
    one of my favorites!

    Now I'm going to have to experiment to see if I can adapt it
    to my Instant Pot. Anyone want to help?

  • Hig87 | 06/06/2018

    As many have stated, this is an excellent dish that is simple to prepare and always comes out beautifully. I have prepared it verbatim, having doubled the spices and, using dates, prunes and/or apricots - always comes out very good. Definitely a keeper! Thank you FC!!

  • farmerlou | 05/26/2016

    Awesomeness!I didn't have carrot juice so substituted V-8 & used both dates & apricots....delicious!

  • Kohola | 02/14/2015

    Absolutely delicious!!! Wow. I wanted a first recipe for my new le creuset braiser and chose this based on the reviews. I was NOT expecting it to be this good. Even before it goes in the oven, I wasn't seeing ( smelling) how this was going to be amazing. But oh boy when it's all done and reduced, it is delish!I used dates.

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