Yield: 6 servings
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
• 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
• 3 tablespoons TAO lemon olive oil
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 3 lemons, halved
• 1 orange, quartered
• 1 cup pitted dates or prunes
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
• 3 bay leaves
• 6 fresh thyme sprigs
• 1 cup unsalted chicken cooking stock
• 4 1/2 teaspoons TAO butter olive oil
Optional Serve with lemon pasta (stringozzi lemone)
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Sprinkle pepper and 1 1/2 tsp. salt evenly over chicken. Cook 3 chicken breasts, skin side down, in 1 1/2 tablespoons hot TAO lemon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 4 minutes or until skin is golden brown and crisp. Remove chicken from Dutch oven; wipe Dutch oven clean with paper towels. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil and 3 chicken breasts; reserve 2 Tbsp. drippings in Dutch oven.
2. Sprinkle sugar over cut sides of lemon halves and orange quarters. Cook fruit, cut sides down, in hot drippings in Dutch oven over medium-high heat about 5 minutes or until fruit browns and sugar melts and begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 3 more minutes. Add dates and next 3 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes.
3. Increase heat to high, and stir in wine. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until almost all liquid has evaporated. Stir in bay leaves and next 2 ingredients. Nestle chicken in date mixture. Place a piece of parchment paper directly on chicken, and cover Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.
4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Let chicken stand, covered, in Dutch oven at room temperature 30 minutes. Discard parchment paper. Transfer chicken to a platter; cover to keep warm.
5. Skim any fat from surface of cooking liquid. Pour cooking liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a saucepan. Reserve lemons and oranges; discard remaining solids. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add TAO butter olive oil and whisk until sauce is smooth. Garnish chicken with reserved lemons and oranges, and serve with sauce and side of our lemon pasta (stringozzi lemone)
Balsamic reduction: reduced by one third over low heat