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David Burtka: Life Is a Party

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David Burtka: Life Is a Party


June 18, 2019


1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 dried bay leaves, broken in half 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 (63/4-ounce) jar pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, drained
1 (31/2-ounce) jar capers in brine, drained
4 ounces dried cranberries (1 cup)
4 ounces dried apricots (1 cup), torn in half
6 ounces dried pitted prunes (1 heaping cup)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 pounds total), patted dry
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


1. In a large plastic storage container with a lid, stir together the oregano, bay leaves, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, olives, capers, cranberries, apricots, prunes, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, then use clean hands to gently coat the chicken in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

4. Using your hands, transfer the chicken to a large skillet or 9 by 13-inch baking dish, tucking under the sides of each chicken breast so it looks like a ball. Spoon the fruit and any remaining marinade into the pan.

5. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the chicken pieces, then drizzle with the wine. Bake until the juices run clear and the skin on the chicken is lightly browned, about 1 hour, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the cooking time.

6. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and spoon the fruit and liquid from the pan over the chicken (discard the bay leaves). Garnish with the parsley before serving alongside the Rice Pilaf.


1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 or 5 medium endive heads, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about 4 cups)
7 celery stalks, with leaves, sliced
1/4 inch thick on an angle
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is creamy and emulsified (this can be done ahead of time; re-whisk if needed to combine just before serving).

2. Add the endive and celery to the bowl and toss gently to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add half the hazelnuts and toss to incorporate, then transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and serve topped with the remaining hazelnuts.

Tip: Feel free to swap in walnuts or pecans for the hazelnuts.

Excerpted from LIFE IS A PARTY: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration. Copyright © 2019 by David Burtka, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.


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