Last weekend a very dear and old friend come down to DC to visit me. She and I have been close friends, schoolmates and at one point roommates. It was so good to catch-up with her and really get some hometown flavor back into my life. We of course had to gossip and enjoy each others company over some tasty food. I decided that in the theme of homey and fuzzy feelings I was going to make a chicken dish for my girlfriend that my mom used to make for my family growing up. The chicken is not an original recipe but it is smack-your-lips good. It is a perfect balance of Mediterranean flavors; the combination of flavors: tangy, sweet and salty can be picked up by your taste buds in every single bite.
My girlfriend made a wonderful cabbage salad with pancetta, currents and slivered almonds. It complimented the chicken dish so well, the dressing was very light and when you put both the chicken and salad together all the pan juices from the chicken ended up mixing up with the salad. The flavor of the pan juice melded so well, it tasted just like what the salad had been waiting for all its life. These two are definitely soul mates. I at the salad without the chicken and while it was certainly tasty, I longed for the chicken and all that tangy, sweet and savory sauce.
Now the key to the chicken is you must let it marinate overnight. It really is the deal breaker. Do you want dry chicken? no? well then do as I say and marinate that bird overnight! I’m telling you, people will think you are a chicken Queen/King. Also a note to whoever makes this dish. Don’t freak you guests out by telling them there are prunes in the dish. I don’t know if you have memories like mine of watching your grandparents drink prune juice in the morning with their 500 different vitamins and minerals or remember your school nurse tell you that you might have a stomach ache because you need to go to the bathroom and hand you a handful of prunes. If you understand where I’m coming from, you’ll know that the word prune sounds very unattractive and unappetizing. I told people that I used dried plums in the chicken dish. It sounds more modern and exotic if you ask me, but then again that is my opinion and my opinion alone. Do your friends and loved ones a favor, don’t open the scary and confusing volt of prune memories, they might not show up for dinner and that would be a crying shame because this is truly a delicious chicken dish.
The cabbage salad was just as beautiful as it was delicate in flavor. The salad was crunchy from the cabbage (obviously), slivered almonds and bacon. The currents were soaked in warm balsamic vinegar; the currents plumped up from that process and carried a nice unexpected flavor to them. There was very little of a dressing component to the salad, which is why I liked having all of the chicken sauce with it. I really love sauces, I mean I will order something just for the dipping sauces. If i buy fries, I will have like 4-5 different sauces to dip them into. When I ate this salad by itself I drizzled a little balsamic vinaigrette on top.
Enjoy this meal with an old friend. All the flavors will most certainly fill your heart with love and comfort. I loved spending time and cooking with Lauren, love you chica!