The piney aroma of rosemary, sumptuous sweetness of dried fruit and zesty bite of dry white wine make this glazed chicken recipe the perfect dish for late winter dinner parties or family gatherings. Chicken is undoubtedly the prime meat choice for this dish, as its mild flavor and absorbent quality let the flavors do all the talking. The last apples of the season are now making final appearances at farmer’s markets, and dried fruit can be found at markets and in grocery stores in bulk year round. The white wine should be dry and possibly even oaky, as these tannic flavors blends well with robust aromas of rosemary, which is a great and low maintenance addition to any yard or window sill.
As for your chicken – it is best if you know your farmer first hand, and can even pick up your meat directly from him/her. This way you will see the environment the chickens live in, assuring that the animal has had a happy and healthy life (which is much healthier for you and your family, too). Farmers markets are also a great place to find humanely and organically raised chickens, as you can often ask your vendor all the questions you would like to know about the meat. Always judge the freshness and quality of the chicken meat by its colors, making sure to avoid any grayness or translucent fat. When in the grocery store, go for organic, certified humane, free-range and locally raised chicken to get the healthiest and most sustainable meat.
4 half chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup water
½ cup dry white wine (a light, homemade, fruit wine like rhubarb wine also works well)
1 tablespoon organic lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon spicy dry mustard
3 teaspoons organic fresh rosemary chopped / 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
¼ cup organic dried apricots
¼ cup organic raisins or sultanas
1 fresh, small organic apple, cored and sliced
¼ cup organic onion, chopped
½ tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
Fresh organic parsley for garnish
Preheat the over to 350° F. Place the chicken in a baking dish, rub with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 45 minutes, during which you can prepare the sauce.
Combine water, wine, lemon juice, honey, mustard and rosemary in a medium size sauce pan. Bring the broth to a boil and turn your burner down to let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the raisins and dried apricots and let the sauce simmer for another 15 minutes, allowing the fruit to become tender. In the meatime, sautee the onions in a small skillet and set them aside.
Take the chicken out of the oven and de-skin if desired, and pour off fat. The chicken fat can be stored as chicken stock for soup, or fed to house animals with their regular kibble for extra nutrition.
Turn oven to 400° F, spoon fruit sauce and sauteed onions over the chicken, layer the apple slices on top and bake for another 15 minutes, basting at least once. Garnish with fresh organic parsely and serve with organic rice and a late winter salad.
Image: David Christian