Roasted Chicken Breasts with Dried Figs, Apricots, and Prunes

Bone-in, skin-on, chicken breasts work best for this recipe.

Serves 6.

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons black olive paste (available at specialty food stores)
1½ teaspoons dried Greek oregano
1½ teaspoons fennel seed
3 bay leaves
⅓ cup white wine
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 dried figs
12 dried apricots
12 prunes
⅓ to ½ cups capers, rinsed
1 cup Kalamata olives

6 chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1. Place the marinade ingredients in a large nonreactive glass or ceramic bowl, add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Remove the chicken pieces and dry them with a paper towel. Place the marinade in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook 3 minutes and set aside. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the chicken pieces, one at a time, allowing the pan to reheat for about 30 seconds between additions. Cook until they are browned, about 5 minutes on each side.

4. Transfer the chicken to a large baking pan, sprinkle with the brown sugar, add the reserved marinade, and place in the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked throughout, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Transfer to a large heated serving platter and serve immediately.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)