Chicken with Prunes Rif Style - Djej Bil Babcock Recipe


1 chicken (about 3-1/2 pounds) 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more to taste

¾ pounds prunes, pitted

2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 large Spanish onions, sliced lengthwise

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup whole, blanched almonds (or use marcona almonds)

Rice Bran oil for frying


2-quart saucepan

5-1/2 quart casserole with cover


Perforated Spoon

Paper Towels

Large Serving Dish

Working Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour



Chicken with Prunes Rif Style (Djej Bil Babcock) Recipe

How Paula found this recipe is a wonderful story and shows that she lived her life to learn these recipes and put them in her cookbook. This one is from the Rif Mountains, where the people do their own thing.

1. Cut off the wings and legs from the prepared chicken, leaving the breast in one piece.

2. Rub all the pieces with salt, pepper and cumin. Let stand one hour.

3. In a separate saucepan, cover the prunes with cold water and add the cinnamon.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 30 minutes. (If the prunes are excessively dry, you will need to soak them for at least 1 hour beforehand and cook them a bit longer, until tender)

5. Steam the sliced onions in the casserole with the turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper and ¼ cup water for 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, brown the almonds in the oil, remove with the perforated spoon, and drain on paper towels.

7. In the same oil, brown the chicken evenly on all sides, then transfer to the steamed onions with 1 cup water.

8. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

9. Add the cooked prunes and some of the prune water to the casserole and continue cooking until the chicken and prunes are very tender.

To serve, arrange the chicken breast in the center of the serving dish, place the legs and wings around, and cover all with prunes and sauce. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve at once.