Monday, September 8, 2008

Braised Chicken with Dried Plums

Everyday Food magazine has a lot of great ideas for quick meals. I scour the magazine every month and dog-ear pages...and then I file it away without making anything. I don't know why this is, but it happens a lot. This month, I decided to hunker down and do some cooking.

On Tuesday night I went to the grocery store with my magazine in hand and bought all the things I needed to make the braised chicken recipe. This recipe calls for wine which usually stops me dead in my tracks. Beer and wine are not my forte. When a recipe says "dry white wine" I think, how could wine be dry? It's a liquid. When a recipe calls for an light but robust beer, I stare at the section long and hard in deep confusion.

However, Everyday Food didn't let me down this time. Someone must have asked them for a wine feature because not only did they do a Wine Basics section but also recommended a type of wine to use in this recipe - Sauvignon Blanc. That said, it still took me remarkably long to find this wine in a reasonable size. I finally decided on the cheapest one I saw with a brand name I recognized -Sutter Home, $3.33 on sale.

The recipe calls for dried plums at the end. If you don't like dried plums, also known as prunes (which makes them sound particularly disgusting) you can use any kind of larger dried fruit that you like--for example apricots. You could probably omit the fruit too and just serve non-dried fruit on the side. I only liked it because it added texture.

I served this with store-bought mashed potatoes from the refrigerator section. This would be good also with polenta (their suggestion) or mashed rutabaga and potatoes. It needs something though to "soak up the rich sauce."

This recipe was absolutely delicious and ridiculously easy to make. I highly recommend it.

Braised Chicken with Dried Plums
2 T. Olive oil
8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds) - my supermarket did not have skinless thighs so I just removed the skin prior to making the recipe
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T flour
2 C dry white wine SUCH AS Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup pitted dried plums

1. In a heavy 5 quart (or bigger and you can do just one batch) Dutch oven or heavy pot with lid heat oil over med-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper (be generous on the salt). Cook in two batches until browned 6-8 minutes turning once (be careful, the oil spits). Transfer to plate.
2. TO pot add onion and salt and pepper. Cook stirring until onion begins to brown 3-5 minutes (reduce heat if it cooks too fast). Add flour, cook stirring 1 minute. Add wine and chicken along with accumulated juices.
3. Cover and cook until chicken is opaque throughout 8-10 minutes. Stir in dried plums. Serve hot with sauce over mashed potatoes.

I took a bite before I remembered that I needed a picture.

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