This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate shop, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives, and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It’s good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious appetizer.
The overnight marination is essential to the moistness of the finished product: The chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it travels well and makes excellent picnic fare.
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- ½ cup pitted Spanish green olives
- ½ cup capers with a bit of juice
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
- ¼ cup dried oregano
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 chickens (2½ pounds each), quartered
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.
4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.
Nutritional information is based on 10 servings and 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.