You’re going to tell me that it’s summer and therefore, criminal to make something with dried fruit – a recipe that we would normally make in winter when fresh fruit is not available. OK, guilty as charged.
But this time of year, I would much prefer to enjoy the ripe, juiciness of the fresh fruit, right out of the bowl (after washing them, of course) and get that sunny flavor that no freezing or drying will allow! And, with this recipe, you reconstitute the dried fruit with some white wine … so it’s not all bad, right? For those of you who don’t drink wine or don’t want to drink that non-alcoholic wine, apple juice or pear juice works perfectly well!
You can make this in a good sized toaster oven or convection oven (if using a convection, remember to reduce the temp and time according to your oven’s usage).
The original recipe was for 2 chickens to serve 8 people but I’ve adjusted it for you to serve 4 with 1 good sized whole chicken. Feel free to double the recipe if feeding more (or if you want yummy leftovers!). Rice and asparagus pair nicely with this recipe, along with a fruity white or light red wine!
Chicken with Dried Fruit
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup dried fruit (apricots and prunes or mixture of apricots prunes, cherries, currents, or raisins)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cube fresh ginger approx. 1/4″ square finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2-1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice (half of half of a lemon, approx.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 whole chicken, approx. 1-1/2 – 2 lbs., all visible fat removed.
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley, optional for garnish
Cut the backbone from the chicken and reserve for soup. Cut the 2 halves of the chicken into 8 pieces (if the breasts are large, you might want to cut them in half giving you a total of 10 pieces).
Combine dried fruit and orange juice in a non-reactive bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Be sure all the fruit gets into the juice. Combine the plumped fruit, juice, garlic, ginger, oregano, thyme, vinegar, lemon juice and bay leaves in a large bowl. Add the chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375.
Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick spray or line with foil (spray foil lightly, too). Place chicken pieces on pan in a single layer and spoon the marinade and fruit over the chicken. Sprinkle the brown sugar and drizzle with the white wine (or apple/pear juice) over the top of the fruit-topped chicken. Roast chicken for 45 – 60 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork or temperature in thickest part reaches 160.
Remove chicken and fruit to serving platter. Pour pan juices into a serving bowl and skim off the fat. Discard fat and bay leaves. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley (optional) and pass the pan juices separately.