Recipe: chicken with beaujolais, prunes, shallots and thyme by Claire Thomson

An autumn recipe to cook in mid-November – when beaujolais nouveau is released

A pot of chicken with beaukolais, prunes, shallots and thyme
Recipe from 'One Pan Chicken' by Claire Thomson
(Image credit: Sam Folan)

This is the ultimate autumn recipe, said Claire Thomson: it's one to cook in mid-November, when beaujolais nouveau is released. The other ingredients – prunes, thyme, garlic and Dijon – will also flatter and elevate the chicken. Serve it on a pile of buttery mashed potato, with a glass of the same wine in hand. Go old-fashioned and tie your parsley and thyme stalks, wrapped in the bay leaves and secured with some kitchen string, into a bouquet garni.

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 1kg whole chicken thighs, legs, drumsticks or breasts
  • 50g butter
  • 4 large or 12 small shallots, peeled (leave the root on to help them hold together)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 thyme sprigs, plus ½ tsp picked thyme leaves
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped and stalks reserved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200ml beaujolais, or another young, fruity red wine
  • 16 pitted prunes
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Dijon, plus more to serve
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Melt the butter in a casserole pan over a moderate heat. Add the chicken, and fry for around 5 minutes, turning, until golden brown all over. Add the shallots and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes, until they too have taken on a bit of colour.
  • Turn down the heat and add the tomato purée, garlic, thyme sprigs, parsley stalks and bay leaves and stir gently.
  • Then add the wine, stirring well to dislodge any bits of caramelised chicken stuck to the pan. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the prunes and the chicken stock. Cook over a low-moderate heat for around 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and leave it to rest on a plate, keeping it warm, while you reduce the liquid in the pan over a high heat for a couple of minutes to thicken it slightly. Add the Dijon and whisk to combine.
  • Add the chicken back into the sauce in the pan and season well with salt, if needed, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Remove from the heat and strew with the chopped parsley and picked thyme leaves, and with more mustard on the side.

Recipe from "One Pan Chicken: 70 All-in-One Chicken Recipes For Simple Meals, Every Day" by Claire Thomson, published by Quadrille at £20. Photography by Sam Folan. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £15.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit

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