, , , , , , ,

Hello, my friends.  Are you coming down off of your sugar high from Valentine’s Day?  I thought after several posts on love notes and Valentines and fluffy pink wreaths {not to mention chocolate cupcakes}, it would be nice to share a recipe for a simple weeknight dinner.

I clipped this recipe from the February 2011 Everyday with Rachael Ray mag and have had it in my binder of recipes to try in the future.  And though her kinetic energy isn’t always appealing to me, several of her recipes are.

Actually, I think I just wish I had half of her energy.  I can never seem to make it past the half-way point in my weekly to do list!

This dish spoke to me.  Braised chicken thighs with caramelized onions, the dried plums and a touch of cream.  Sounds good, right?  Most everything is in your pantry already {love that} and you couldn’t possibly mess this up, even if you’re being pulled in a couple of different directions while you try to make it.

So, grab an onion, some brown sugar and the sherry vinegar, and of course those  prunes and you’re ready to get started.

 You’ll need a small bowl to mix together a 1/2 cup of dried prunes, a 1/4 cup of sherry vinegar and 1 tsp of brown sugar.  Stir the prunes a bit so that they can sit in the brown sugar-vinegar mixture and marinate.  Set them aside.

Oh, and if you didn’t find a bottle of sherry vinegar in the back of your cabinet just use cider vinegar instead.  See, we’re keeping it easy breezy here on Main St.!

Season 4 chicken thighs with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and when the oil is hot brown the 4 chicken thighs on both sides for approximately 8 minutes.  Transfer to a clean platter.

Discard all but 1 tbsp of the fat and lower the heat to medium.  Add 1 onion that has been sliced with uniform thickness to the Dutch oven.  Cook, stirring until softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Here are the onions at about the halfway point in the process.

Return the browned chicken thighs to the pot and place them on top of the onions.  Then add the prune-vinegar mixture.

Pour 2 cups of chicken broth into your Dutch oven and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is reduced by half, about 25 minutes.  Stir in 1/3 cup half and half.

Those lovely little plums had a soft, creamy texture after spending some time in the braising liquid.

I served it with some fluffy rice which absorbed the sherry-cream sauce when plated.  This is the perfect time of year for a dinner that features caramelized onions and plump, dried fruit.  If you’re looking for the original recipe, just click here or you can scroll below and print the recipe that I adapted ever so slightly.

Braised Chicken with Prunes and Cream


1/2 cup dried pitted prunes

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 tsp brown sugar

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, patted dry

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, sliced into uniform slices

2 cups chicken broth

1/3 cup of half and half (or heavy cream)

2 cups long-grain rice, cooked


In a small bowl, toss the prunes with the vinegar and brown sugar and let marinate for at least 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, season the chicken thighs with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  In a large killet or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook , turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Discard all but 1 tbsp of fat and lower the heat to medium.  Add the onions and cook, sturring frequently until soft and golden in color, about 5 or 6 minutes.  Add the chicken back into the pot, nestling into the onions and then add the prune-vinegar mixture and return the chicken thighs to the pan.  Add the chicken broth and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is reduced by half , about 25 minutes.

Divide the rice and chicken between two plates and spoon the sauce over the top.

Serves: 2