Spiced Elizabethan Chicken with Plums

Enjoy a taste of medieval England with Lotte Duncan's richly spiced chicken stew cooked in red wine
By Lotte Duncan
Spiced Elizabethan Chicken with Plums
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: easy



  • 300 ml red wine
  • grated zest and juice of 1 oranges
  • 4 cloves
  • 115 g raisins
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • a few sprigs of rosemary
  • 225 g firm plums, halved and stoned
  • honey, to taste
  • 25 g flour
  • black pepper


1. Mix together the red wine, orange zest and juice, cloves, raisins, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and juniper berries. Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl, pour over the red wine mixture, cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.

2. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion for 10 minutes, until softened.

3. Add the chicken stock to the onion. Bring to the boil. Add the marinated chicken with its marinade and a rosemary sprig. Simmer gently over a low heat for 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

4. After the chicken has simmered for 15 minutes add the plums.

5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken and plums using a slotted spoon and set aside to keep warm. Increase the heat under the stock mixture and boil briskly until slightly reduced and thickened.

6. Sweeten to taste with honey. Mix the flour and butter into a paste and add a little at a time to thicken the simmering sauce until you have achieved the consistency you require.

7. Return the chicken and plums to the thickened sauce and heat through thoroughly. Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve.

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