This recipe is great for entertaining, and is divine garnished with Onion Walnut and Pancetta Topping.
- 6 boneless chicken breast halves (see Chef’s note below)
- 5–6 Medjool dates, pitted and cut in pieces
- 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup toasted California walnut pieces
- 1/3 cup nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 3/4 cup concentrated chicken stock (this can be salty, so regular chicken stock works well for many)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley
- Pepper and salt (if necessary), to taste
*Note from the Chef: "I would recommend marinating the chicken breasts for about an hour in fresh rosemary, halved garlic cloves, a bit of lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper."
The sauce takes just minutes to prepare right as the chicken comes out of the oven. Prep the ingredients before your guests arrive and finish right before dinner is served. The intoxicating smell from the kitchen will bring everyone to the table!
- Combine the dates and vinegar in a small bowl and let stand an hour or two. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken and brown about 2 minutes on each side. Place the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 12–14 minutes, until fully cooked. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter (if desired, on a bed of soft polenta).
- Place the skillet over high heat and add the walnuts, olives and stock, along with the reserved dates and vinegar. Boil rapidly for a moment, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to remove any flavorful bits. Add the butter and parsey and stir until the butter melts. Season with pepper, and salt if necessary, then pour over the chicken and serve immediately.
- If desired, garnish with Onion Walnut and Pancetta Topping.