I was sick when I made this and am sick while I am typing this. That means a few things. You know it was easy. You know it was good (if I am bothering to type it up). You should forgive any typos. I hope you forgive the photos–almost forgot to take any altogether.
This recipe was inspired by a dish from Maryana Vollstedt’s The Big Book Of Casseroles. That dish however, was too fruity, not savory enough, so I added onions, garlic, more spices. And whatever fruit I felt like throwing in (which is a clue you should do the same–don’t feel compelled by my choices). And to be honest this does not qualify as a casserole to me. A casserole should be able to be served on its own, but this really needs rice or couscous to serve it over. This is a braise as far as I am concerned–it would also make a good slow cooker dish.
A few notes about cuts of chicken and cooking times: I believe that you can braise something in almost any amount of time, it is up to you. Need to start it earlier (as I did)? Turn the temp way down and let it cook for 5 hours plus, emulating a slow cooker. Similarly, the more skinless white meat you use, the lower it should cook, so that the meat is almost poached in the cooking liquid. Once again, this is what I did. I had 2 skin on, bone in chicken breasts–and I also had over a pound of boneless, skinless breast tenders leftover from some other meal so I threw that in too, knowing that I was planning to cook the dish very slowly. If you cook it so slowly that you are worried about germs, I do recommend cranking the heat up (say 325 F) at the end for 15 minutes or so. That will be enough to bring to a hard simmer for that amount of time.
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 – 3 lbs of chicken cuts (see note above)
approx. 1 1/2 cups white wine
2 medium-large onions, thinly sliced
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t Ceylon cinnamon (maybe use a tad less if all you have is Cassia)
1/4 t cloves
1/2 t sweet paprika
red pepper flakes, to taste, or add them at table if heat tolerance varies (what we did)
approx. 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
handful golden raisins (my handfuls are between 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
handful sliced prunes
handful sliced dried apricots
1 15-oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to desired temperature (see above notes) between 225 F and 325 F.
Heat the oil in a medium-large Dutch oven over medium high heat. When it is shimmering, brown the chicken with skin and bones (the boneless, skinless chicken will cook through too fast–do not bother browning it) on all sides. Remove to a bowl. Add the onions with a pinch of salt. Caramelize them for 10-12 minutes, adding white wine as needed to de-glaze if they start to stick and burn (add it 2-3 tablespoons-full at a time). Add the garlic and spices with another pinch of salt and stir, cooking for 1 minute or so.
Deglaze the pan with the remaining white wine and let it boil down for 3-5 minutes, depending on how hard it is boiling. You want it saucy, not totally evaporated, but much reduced.
Add the orange juice and the remaining ingredients. Stir, bring to a boil. Add the chicken back in with any accumulated juices and stir once more to ensure the chicken is deeply down in the sauce. Cover the Dutch oven tightly with a lid and place it in the oven. An hour before serving, check on the chicken to make sure your chosen temperature is truly cooking the chicken through and getting it tender (you do not need to do this if you’ve experimented before). Serve with Basmati rice or couscous.