Reduce the wine by half over a
high heat – this takes 15-20 minutes.
Leave to cool a little then
pour it over the chicken in a shallow
dish and leave to marinate for 10-
15 minutes. This done, drain the
chicken and pat it dry. Keep the
marinade for the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 110C/Gas
1⁄4/fan 90C. Heat the oil in a large
flameproof casserole. (If you don’t
have one, do this in a large
saucepan.) Season the chicken,
then fry to colour in the oil for 5
minutes. Reduce the heat, add the
butter and caramelise for a further
5-10 minutes, until the chicken is a
beautiful dark brown colour.
Pour off the fat, add the tomatoes
and cook over a high heat for 2
minutes so they start to caramelise
and get wonderfully roasty toasty.
Spoon in the flour, stirring well to
make sure you don’t get any lumps.
Now gradually pour in the reduced
wine, stirring like mad, then just
enough water (about 500ml/18fl
oz), to cover the chicken. Drop in
the bouquet garni, if using, and
Bring the liquid gently to the boil,
tip in the prunes and skim the top
(if you’ve used a saucepan, tip into
a casserole now). Braise in the
oven, with the lid slightly ajar, for 2
hours. Make absolutely sure the
liquid never boils. Check to see if the
chicken is tender enough to eat with
a spoon – it should be falling apart –
then take out of the oven.
Lift out the chicken and prunes
into a serving dish and keep warm.
Reduce the sauce until it is rich in
colour and strong in taste, with the
thickness of a gravy. If necessary,
when it has the strong taste you
want but is not thick enough,
thicken with a little cornflour
dissolved in water. Season with
salt, sugar and black pepper, then
strain it back over the chicken and
prunes. Serve sprinkled with the
orange zest and parsley.