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)