Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Len's Recipe of the Month - June 2017

Here we go again, folks.   My culinary capabilities have expanded one more time thanks to Valerie Bertinelli.   She did this recipe on her show a while back and I was intrigued enough to attempt it.   

Boy, I am glad I did.   Delicious!!

It's chicken with prunes and olives.   Yes, you heard right.   Prunes and olives.   I had one friend who immediately sneered at the inclusion of prunes.   Sure, there is a stigma to that word.   But, somehow, all these ingredients come together as a symphony of flavors.   And, yes, prunes are included.   Well, said person is not invited to dinner when I am serving this tasty dish.

Here's how you get started.  Keep in mind that you have to marinade much of the ingredients overnight in your fridge.   

First off, get yourself a large Ziploc bag.   Or I used a Tupperware bowl with a cover.   Whatever you're using, place in it the following:

2 to 3 pounds of chicken pieces with the bone in.   Valerie used chicken breasts. I opted for thighs.   Go with your heart.

2/3 cup of really good EVO.

2/3 cup of red wine vinegar.

2 cups of pitted prunes.   I used diced prunes.   Worked fine.

1/4 cup capers with a bit of the brine from the jar.

2 tablespoons dried oregano.

5 cloves of minced or finely chopped garlic.

2 bay leaves.   I didn't have any.  I lived.

20 garlic-stuffed olives.   That should be one whole jar.

Kosher salt and pepper.

Seal it up and stick away in the refrigerator for several hours.   Go overnight if you can.   The longer, the better.

On the next day, pull the chicken out of the marinade and set it aside for a moment.   Take a 9 x 13 inch baking dish sprayed with a little olive oil and pour the marinade into the bottom of the pan.  Overnight, this mixture may have congealed a little.   No worries.   Just spoon it in and spread it around.

Preheat your oven at 375 degrees.

Take the chicken pieces and lay it over the marinade.  Now take about 1/4 cup of brown sugar and sprinkle it over the chicken evenly.   Wait till you taste the sweet crispness that results.   

Take a 1/2 cup of white wine and pour it around the chicken.   Put it all in the oven and, since you already opened the vino, you might as pour yourself a glass.  Or two.   

Bake this all at the aforementioned temperature for about an hour to an hour and twenty minutes.   Open the oven a few times to keep the juice mixing around.

The end result will be a confluence of flavors you have never experienced.  No other ingredient overrides the others.   

You're welcome.

Now finish the bottle of white wine.

Dinner last night:  How timely......leftover chicken with prunes and olives.

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