I didn’t intend to grocery shop at Walgreen’s, but when strategically shopping for paper goods (arrival based on delivery truck intel), I spotted dried apricots and figs and this dish came to mind. Guest have given me rave reviews of Chicken Marrakesh, a recipe from The Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook, but I was serving my family and had only had small, skinless, boneless cutlets to work with. This entree’s “delectable, tangy sweetness” is a winner! The original recipe with modifications due to taste and availability is below.
Happy cooking, hon!
Modifications in Brackets
- 4 whole chickens (2 1/2 pounds ea), each cut into eighths [8 skinless, boneless cutlets]
- 12 large cloves garlic, finely minced [4 large garlic cloves]
- 3 tablespoons dried thyme [1 Tablespoon thyme]
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin [1 teaspoon cumin]
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger [3/4 teaspoon ginger]
- [not in original recipe but added 1/2 teaspoon turmeric]
- 1 teaspoon salt [1/2 teaspoon salt]
- 1 cup red wine vinegar [1/3 cup red wine vinegar]
- 1 cup best quality olive oil [1/3 cup olive oil]
- 8 teaspoons green peppercorns, soaked in water and drained [didn’t use, but modification would be 2 teaspoons peppercorns]
- 2 cups whole pitted black olives [didn’t use, but modification would be 3/4 cup olives]
- 3 cups dried apricots [6 oz dried apricots]
- 2 cups dried small figs [4 oz Mission figs]
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar [1/4 cup brown sugar]
- 1 cup good red wine [didn’t have, so substituted 1/8 cup red wine vinegar]
- 2 cups large pecan pieces [didn’t have, but modification would be 3/4 cup pecan pieces]
- Grated zest of 4 lemons [didn’t have, but modification would be 1 lemon]
1. The day before, combine the chicken, garlic, thyme, cumin, ginger, salt, wine vinegar, oil, peppercorns, olives, apricots, and figs in 2 large bowls, dividing the ingredients equally; marinate covered in the refrigerator overnight. Mix several times during the day. Remove the bowls from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. [I combined ingredients in the morning and cooked the dish that evening.]
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Arrange chicken in single layer in 2 large, heavy, shallow baking pans. Spoon marinade evenly over both pans. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, pecans, and lemon zest and pour the wine evenly between the pieces in both pans.
4. Cover the pans with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, 50 minutes. [Cooking time will vary when using smaller amount than originally called for, cook until inside temperature of chicken is approx. 160 degrees F.]
5. Using a fork and slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, olives, dried fruit, and pecans to a large serving platter. Drizzle with a few large spoonfuls of the pan juices.
Serves about 8