Roasted Chicken Breasts in Date Sauce with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Capers tastes like something you’d be served at a French bistro. Bistro food is typically simple and familiar with a hint of sophistication – rustic dishes with amazing sauces or peasant food served in an elegant or unusual way. Think slices of flank steak with shallot mustard sauce, or pommes frites (french fries) served in a silver cup. Roasted Chicken Breasts in Date Sauce with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Capers would fit well alongside these dishes. Chicken breasts are marinated and then roasted in a dressing containing classic French ingredients like garlic, wine, herbs, and capers that, when combined with the roasted dates and pan juice makes a delectable sauce.
Sun dried tomatoes and capers is a great food combination that works well with the other sweet and savory flavors in this dish. If you don’t like sun dried tomatoes you can substitute pitted green olives. If you’re not crazy about capers, simply leave them out.
The French are famous for their labor intensive sauces but the date sauce in this recipe couldn’t be simpler to prepare. It’s made by pureeing the dates (which become soft and tender after roasting) in a food processor or blender along with the roasting pan juices. I like to drizzle a little bit of sauce over the chicken right before serving and pass the extra sauce on the side. The chicken is delicious without the sauce but becomes truly bistro worthy when served with it.
- 6 bone in, skin on, chicken breasts (6-7 lbs. total depending on the size of the breasts)
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- ½ cup capers with 1 Tablespoon of their juices
- ¼ cup dried Italian seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 6 bay leaves
- 4.5 ounces/1 cup dried, pitted dates
- 3 ounces/1¼ cup sun dried tomatoes halves (not oil packed)
- ¼ cup fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, roughly chopped
- Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, white wine, capers, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Pour over the chicken and marinate for a few hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the dates and sun dried tomatoes in a large shallow roasting pan. Spread them around but don't mix them together - put the tomatoes on one side and the dates on the other. (You'll need to separate the dates from the tomatoes after roasting and this will make it easier.) Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on top of the dates and tomatoes. Re-whisk the marinade and pour it evenly over the chicken. Roast on the bottom rack of the oven for a total of 1 hour, basting the chicken with the pan juices after 20 and 40 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts to a serving platter along with the sun dried tomatoes and capers. (It's o.k. to leave in a few capers but fish out as many as you can easily.) Discard the bay leaves and then transfer the dates and all of the pan juices to a blender or the work bowl of a food processor and blend/process until you have a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour some of the sauce over the chicken breasts and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
Inspired by: Chicken Marbella - The Silver Palate Cookbook
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