Author Notes: When I was little, my mom used to make a dish called Chicken Jubilee with cherries. It wasn't, however, a flambéed dish. I couldn't figure out why, since Cherries Jubilee featured fire. My version came late one Saturday afternoon when I learned some old friends had come to town, and I invited them to dinner on the spur of the moment. I used pretty much ingredients I had in the house, and this was the successful result. —ChefJune
pound fresh Bing cherries or 1 can (drained) Bing or Morello cherries
cup Armagnac (or other French brandy)
whole chicken thighs, bone in , skin on
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
medium onions, sliced very thin
clove garlic, very finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- At least one day ahead, prepare the cherries. (If you’re using canned cherries, drain them thoroughly.) Dry the cherries well on paper towel. Put into a nonreactive bowl or glass jar and add the French brandy. Cover and aside.
- 2. Heat oil in sauté pan. Add chicken to the pan and brown well on both sides. If the meat is very fatty, spoon off some of the excess fat. Add sliced onion and cook until limp.
- 3. Add garlic cover the pan and continue cooking, until onions have become caramelized.
- Add salt, pepper, marjoram and 1/2 cup of the brandy the cherries have been macerating in. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Cover and let simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 12 more minutes). Remove lid and raise heat to reduce sauce by two-thirds.
- Remove the chicken to a warm platter.
- Warm the remaining brandy with the cherries in a small saucepan -- JUST to warm. Carry to the table separately from the chicken. Pour carefully over the chicken. Flambée for a spectacular presentation!
- Teacher's Tip: The warmed platter is important so the brandy will not cool off and fail to ignite.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish You (Intentionally) Set on Fire