By Cat, April 1, 1917 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
One of the odd things I truly love, is using fruit in a main dish, and this recipe is a prime example. Plums are a very healthful food with additional benefits when they are dried and re-constituted. See Mercola (2) for more about this wonderful fruit.
Bell peppers are a member of the nightshade family, so are something one should not eat every day but are delicious in recipes from indigenous peoples. Unlike most peppers, they are slightly sweet without the heat. If you want a bit of heat, add some dried red pepper flakes to the recipe.
My first test of this recipe was only so-so after baking, but the warmed leftovers were much better – the dried plums and veggies were more fully cooked, and their flavors blended.
See also: 1. Poultry Menu; 2. Creole/Cajun Menu; 3. Dried Plum and Olive Chicken Braise (Mediterranean Style)
Chicken, with dried plums & peppers, Creole-style
This recipe is adapted from one in 365 Ways to Cook Chicken, by Cheryl Sedaker (1). Serves 4, with half recipe amounts (for testing) in parenthesis
- (4 thighs, 1 breast) 1 chicken, about 3 lb, cut up and brined
- (½) 1 cup chopped, pitted dried plums (prunes), reconstituted
- (½) 1 cup homemade chicken broth, heated
- (1) 2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
- (½) 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1″ squares
- (1) 1 clove garlic, sliced
- (1 cup diced) 1 lb tomatoes, cooked, or one 16-oz can of whole or diced tomatoes
- (1) 2 Tbsp real olive oil or coconut oil
- ¼ – ½ tsp unrefined sea salt (or less if chicken is brined)
- (¼) ½ tsp dried basil
- (⅛) ¼ tsp dried thyme
- (⅛) ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- dried red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
- small bowl
- cast iron fry pan
- wooden spoon
- low-sided casserole dish or 13″ x 9″ x 2″ pyrex baking dish
- Brine chicken pieces, then drain and pat dry.
- Reconstitute dried plums: Chop and place in small bowl. Heat chicken broth/stock to a simmer; pour over chopped prunes to cover and set aside to reconstitute.
- Meanwhile, prep veggies: chop onion, coarsely; slice garlic thinly, core bell pepper and cut into 1″ squares. If using fresh tomatoes, chop them.
- Brown Chicken: heat oil in cast iron pan over medium heat Add chicken pieces, skin-side down, and cook 5 minutes; turn over and cook, until browned. Transfer to casserole or baking dish.
- Bake: While chicken is browning, preheat oven to 375F.
- Add veggie mix to skillet and cook, stirring, 5 minutes until they soften. Add prepped or canned tomatoes, herbs, red pepper flakes (if using), and salt (use lesser amount if you brined the chicken). Bring to a boil and pour over chicken.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Add prune/broth mix over chicken, stirring to combine. Bake until chicken is tender, about 15 -20 minutes.
4/19/17: Made half recipe using 4 thighs and 1 large breast, cut crosswise into 4 pieces; brined. Used 1 onion, 1 garlic, fresh bell pepper, fresh grape tomatoes, and recommended herbs with the browned chicken pieces. Baked 40 minutes; added dried plums (reconstituted in homemade chicken stock), and stirred to combine. Baked another 20 minutes until chicken tested done (165°F). Result: I like the plums with the chicken, but was not impressed with the overall flavor the first night. However, the warmed leftovers were much better – the dried plums and veggies were more fully cooked, and their flavors blended. Here are some other chicken with dried plum recipes I’d like to try.
- Easy Moroccan Chicken with Dried Plum Sauce (californiadriedplums.org/recipes/easy-moroccan-chicken-with-dried-plums)
- Chicken Sauté with Balsamic-Dried Plum Sauce (californiadriedplums.org/recipes/chicken-saute-with-balsamic-dried-plum-sauce)
- Chicken Cutlets with Dried Plums, Sage and Balsamic (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-with-dried-plums-sage)
- Ale-Simmered Chicken with Dried Plums and Tomato Sauce (foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/ale-simmered-chicken-with-dried-plums-recipe)
- 365 Ways to Cook Chicken, by Cheryl Sedaker, © 1986 by John Boswell Management, Inc., and published by Harper and Row
- Mercola on prunes and plums: articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/03/27/prunes-or-plums.aspx