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Mediterranean Chicken Tonja

This recipe is one I have made for years. The basic recipe called for four cut-up chickens, but I have never served that many people or used cut-up chickens. The beauty of this is that you can easily expand the recipe to serve a lot of people. I’m going to tell you how I do this for three or four of us, but the ingredient amounts are not specific. Eyeballing it will work just fine. The quantity of garlic and oregano seems excessive, but it really works. This is a delicious dish. Start the night before or no later than six hours ahead. Scroll to the bottom for approximate measurements.

6-8 cloves garlic, pureed

6-8 cloves garlic, pureed

Into a 9x13" baking dish, mix together: 2 Tbsp. dried oregano; Salt and pepper; ¼ cup red-wine vinegar; ¼ cup olive oil; Handful pitted prunes; Handful green olives (mine were jumbo-sized, so I cut them in half); 2 Tbsp. capers with a little juice; 3 bay leaves

Into a 9×13″ baking dish, mix together: pureed garlic, dried oregano; Salt and pepper; red-wine vinegar; olive oil; pitted prunes; green olives (mine were jumbo-sized, so I cut them in half); capers with a little juice; bay leaves

Add boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into serving sizes. Turn the chicken so it’s well coated and everything is mixed. Let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Remove from refrigeration and sprinkle 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white wine, and 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley over the top.

Remove from refrigeration and sprinkle brown sugar, white wine, and chopped parsley over the top.

Bake, covered, for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes.

Bake, covered, for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Serve over rice.

Mediterranean Chicken Tonja

6-8 cloves garlic, pureed

2 Tbsp. dried oregano

Salt and pepper

¼ cup red-wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

Handful pitted prunes

Handful green olives (mine were jumbo-sized, so I cut them in half)

2 Tbsp. capers with a little juice

3 bay leaves

Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into serving sizes (I used one breast)

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup white wine

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley or cilantro

The night before, mix all together, except brown sugar, wine, and parsley in a 9×13″ baking dish. Let marinate overnight in refrigerator. Sprinkle with brown sugar and wine and parsley. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for fifteen minutes more. Serve over rice.

This is a great dish when you’re feeding a crowd. It should be prepared the night before, but I’ve done it just a few hours ahead and it’s still delicious. I also have a similar recipe which uses green olives and no tomatoes. Some day I’ll make and post that one.

Mediterranean Chicken Mancini

Mediterranean Chicken Mancini

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into serving size portions (apx. 8 pieces from each breast)

1 cup chopped red onion

4-6 plum tomatoes, chopped or 2 14oz. cans

1 cup pitted prunes

8 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. oregano

6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

1 tsp. paprika

4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Mix all ingredients together in a 13 x 9″ baking dish. Marinate overnight. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. Serves 6-8.

Mix everything together in a 9 x 13″ baking dish. I usually add the chicken last. And this day I didn’t have red onion, only yellow. Still tastes good.

Add the chicken pieces. Marinate overnight. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for an hour and a half.

Mediterranean Chicken Mancini served with Lemon Artichoke Orzo and Eggplant au Gratin.

Okay, so once in awhile I do know how to make something pretty.

Tomorrow morning I’m headed to a bridal shower and was asked to bring something to share. This seems appropriate. I clipped the recipe by Aileen Claire (Times Wire Service) from the Anchorage Times back in the 1980s and have made it many times. I was able find it online at Ocala Star Banner, July 23, 1986. I’m going to give you the recipe the way I make it.

Let dough rise until doubled. Then punch down.

Puree dried prunes with orange juice in blender, then stir in almonds and orange zest.

On floured surface, roll dough out to 18 x 12

Spread filling along upper edge of dough.

Start rolling the dough toward you.

Keep rolling.

Brush lower edge with beaten egg.

Can you see the beaten egg along the bottom edge of the dough?

Pinch edges together to seal. Pick up the dough and move it to a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet, seam side down, in a horse-shoe shape.

Make 12 cuts, about 2/3 of the way through toward center of the dough.

Yeah, so I only made eleven cuts. Do as I say, not as I do. Fan the dough out a bit.

Let dough rise until doubled.

Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cover lightly with foil if it starts to turn too brown.

Remove from the oven.

Let cool. Make a thin icing by mixing powdered sugar with orange juice and drizzle over ring. Voila!

Prune Orange Almond Ring

1 pkg. (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

1 Tbsp + 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup warm milk

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp. salt

3-4 cups bread flour

Prune Almond Filling (recipe below)

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine yeast, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and water. Let stand 5-10 minutes until bubbly. Add milk, butter, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and salt to yeast mixture. Add 2-1/2 cups bread flour to mixer with dough hook and knead very well. Add bread flour and continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic. Let rise until doubled.

Punch down and roll into an 18 x 12″ rectangle. Spoon Prune Almond Filling along top of long side and roll up as for jelly roll. Brush along lower edge with beaten egg; pinch edges to seal. Form into a horseshoe on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down.

With scissors make 12 cuts two-thirds of the way in center of roll; fan slices out. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Brush top with more of the beaten egg; sprinkle with almonds.

Bake in 375 degree oven 30-35 minutes, until golden brown, covering with foil as needed to prevent overbrowning. Remove to rack to cool. Drizzle with powdered sugar thinned with orange juice or water.

Prune Almond Filling

1-1/2 cups (about 9 oz.) pitted prunes

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 tsp. orange zest

In a blender or food processor combine prunes with orange juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into bowl; mix in sliced almonds and orange zest.

What kind?