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Roast Chicken with Warm Prune and Fennel Bread Salad



150g SUNSWEET prunes, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp water
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 whole chicken, 1.5 - 2kg, patted dry
2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250g crusty bread, cubed
1/2 fennel bulb, cored and sliced thinly (250g), fronds chopped for garnish (optional)
4 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
265g hearty mixed lettuces such as romaine, mustard greens and frisée


  1. Position oven rack in the lower half and preheat to 200°C. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil.
  2. Divide prunes in half between a small and a large bowl. In the small bowl, pour 1/2 cup hot water over prunes and let stand until soft, 5 minutes, then drain. Mix thyme and garlic into drained prunes. In the large bowl, pour vinegar and 1 Tbsp water over the prunes. Set aside.
  3. Arrange onions in the center of lined pan, put chicken on top of onions. Season chicken cavity and skin with salt and pepper.
  4. Loosen the skin on the breast, slide the thyme-prune mix under skin as best as possible, putting any remaining prune mix in the cavity. Tuck wing tips behind the back to secure them, then lightly coat breast and legs with 1 Tbsp oil. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone.
  5. Put chicken in oven to roast, rotating pan halfway through cooking process. Remove chicken when thermometer reads 75°C, 1– 1 hr 15minutes.

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