I never thought prunes would go so well with brandy. In Chinese cuisine, it's common practice to add fruit to meat dishes. Not only would the fruit mask the smell of dead animals, their acidity would also make the meat more tender. Wonderful combo!
chicken with drunken prunes
Makes 4 servings
The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
- 1 cup large pitted prunes (about 20)
- 2/3 cup Armagnac or other brandy, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 4-pound cut-up free-range chicken
- 12 large shallots, peeled
- 1 1/4 cups organic chicken broth
- 3 large fresh thyme sprigs plus 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon Sherry wine vinegar
- Boil prunes with 1/3 cup Armagnac in small saucepan until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Cover and set aside.
- Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to skillet, skin side down; cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings. Add shallots; cook until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/3 cup Armagnac; boil 30 seconds, scraping up browned bits. Add broth, prunes, and thyme sprigs; bring to boil. Add chicken in single layer, skin side up, and any accumulated juices. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 17 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
- Stir vinegar into sauce; simmer until thickened, 3 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with chopped thyme.