Chicken in Red Wine with Raisins

This is a medieval recipe, originally intended for rabbit, but equally good with chicken. The sauce is spicy and sweetish, and is used to marinate the meat and fruits before cooking. in this way the chicken takes on a marvellous flavour and the raisins and apricots become juicy and plump.


serves 4
300 ml (1/2 pint) red wine
45 ml (3 tbsp) red wine vinegar
100 g (4 oz) seedless raisins
175 g (6 oz) no-soak dried apricots, halved
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
1 cm (1/2 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves
4 juniper berries, lightly crushed
4 chicken breast fillets, with skin on, each weighing
about 175 g (6 oz)
30 ml (2 tbsp) plain wholemeal flour
salt and pepper
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
300 ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock
orange segments, to garnish


1. Put the wine, vinegar, raisins, apricots, ground ginger, cinnamon, fresh ginger, cloves and juniper berries in a dish. Add the chicken breasts and spoon the liquid over them. Cover and leave to marinate in a cool place for 3 - 4 hours or overnight.

2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dry with kitchen paper. Coat in the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in a large flameproof casserole, add the chicken, skin side down, and fry until lightly browned, turn over and fry the other side. Drain on kitchen paper.

3. Pour off any excess fat from the casserole, then stir in the chicken stock, reserved marinade and fruit and bring to the boil. Return the chicken to the casserole, cover tightly and cook for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

4. Transfer the chicken to a warmed serving plate and keep warm. Boil the liquid until reduced and thickened, then pour over the chicken. Serve garnished with orange segments. Accompany with boiled rice.

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