Date Night Chicken

P and I tried something new last weekend – we took a cooking class!  We left JUP Baby with a babysitter for the very first time and set off to Sur La Table in Boca Raton to celebrate the West Coast culinary giant’s 46th anniversary at a “Cooking with Wine” class. We didn’t know quite what to expect and were pleasantly surprised about how much fun we had.  Working in groups of four at our own cooking stations, we were guided by Chef Nicole to create a three course meal: Roasted Chicken with Vermouth and Olives (Chicken Marbella 2.0), Sauvignon Blanc Risotto with Herbs and Pecorino, and Pan Roasted Grapes with Zinfandel and Frozen Yogurt.  You can even bring your own bottles of wine / beverage of choice to sip while cooking and they have cappuccinos and fruit infused water on site.  At the end of our two hour class, we all received generous portions of our meal to savor and copies of the recipes to take home.

I love to cook but since Lil’s arrival my new specialty is spaghetti with jar sauce and frozen vegetables.  However, this roasted chicken recipe is so easy and can be marinated in advance and roasted after JUP Baby has gone to bed.  It is adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli’s cookbook The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart and I’ve even added some modifications from Chef Nicole.  P and I dubbed this one our “Date Night Chicken.”


  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 whole chickens (3 to 3 1/2 pounds each), quartered – I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 15 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted
  • 2 bay leaves

First, make the marinade.


In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and vermouth.


Add the brown sugar, garlic, oregano, prunes, olives, and bay leaves.


Mix together and reserve half of the marinade for later.  I made the marinade in advance and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.


Add the chicken.  Try to submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade as much as possible.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


Cook the marinated chicken in an oven-safe pan or baking dish (do not remove the chicken from the marinade – cook it all together!).  Bake until the meat is cooked through and the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.


Meanwhile, heat the reserved marinade in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by a little more than half.  Season to taste.


Once chicken is fully cooked and allowed to rest, arrange on a serving platter or plate with pan juices, olives, and prunes.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and serve.  We paired the Chicken Marbella 2.0 with boiled tri-color potatoes and sauteed green beans.

Easy, delicious, and fun to cook with your honey!

Bon appetit!


JUP Girl


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