Prunes: not just for Great Aunt Edith anymore!
So awhile back (like, um, 2007), I came across this Caramelized Chicken with Green Olives and Prunes at Chocolate and Zucchini. Oh, don’t wrinkle your nose! Have you ever even HAD a prune? How about if we call it a dried plum? Is that better? Are you over yourself? Good. We shall resume.
Shoulder pads and power ties. Oh my!
As I was saying, I found this dish on the lovely Clotilde’s blog and the pictures just won me over. As I read further, I saw that the inspiration for this dish was The Silver Palate’s Chicken Marbella.
Ugh, you’ve never heard of them?
They brought gourmet party food to the masses almost 30 years ago. You must be too young to remember this dish when it was served at every dinner party in the country in the early 80’s . That’s ok, I’m too young too.
Alright, brace yourself.
As you’ve already read, this dish contains prunes.
No, I had never had a prune either when I first made this. I had my doubts… I mean, prunes get such a bad rap. I’m so glad I overcame my original misgivings and gave them a chance. Such great flavor – especially when roasted in the oven for an hour. This whole dish is just fantastic. But again, it’s full of flavors I love like vinegar, brown sugar and olives.
Anyway. You should make it. And then tell your mom. Maybe she’s heard of it. And it just might convert you on the prune issue. And if it does, you should try the Chocolate Armagnac Cake from Dorie Greenspan (I made it as part of TWD). Cause that rules too.
Adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook. Serves 5.
2 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely puréed
2 Tbsp dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
1 In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight.
2 Preheat oven to 350°F.
3 Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
4 Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with the pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest point, yield clear yellow juice (not pink).
5 With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Serve remaining juice separately.
Ms. Pantry Raid