Updated: May 27, 2019
Modified from the classic Silver Palate cookbook. The original recipe feeds a huge group, my version fits in a 9 x 13 baking dish, feeds 6-8 people, and uses slightly different ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
8 boneless chicken breasts, approximately, enough to fill a 9x13 baking dish,
grotty bits trimmed off. (I use the large tray you can find at Costco and other large grocery stores)
Jab a fork into the chicken breasts to tenderize a bit:
½ head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or put through press (I only use this if I happen to have it on hand)
¼ cup dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup raisins
½ cup pitted Spanish green olives*
¼ cup capers with a bit of juice*
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white wine
*if you don’t have one or both of these, I’ve substituted chopped artichoke hearts and/or
chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil with good results. You want something that has a bit of “tang.” Or add them all, the more the merrier!
Mix in a bowl and spoon over chicken, evenly distributing the olives/sundried tomatoes/artichoke hearts as needed. (Fun fact: the set of red Dansk melamine mixing bowls you got when you were first starting out are now sold as "vintage" on Etsy, heh...)
If you have time, cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight. If you don’t, I generally just do this a few hours before cooking. (Or, you can do it all at the same time, it's a pretty forgiving recipe...) Arrange chicken in greased 9 x 13 baking dish, pour mix over it, move chicken around a bit with a fork to make sure the sauce mix is all over them, cover and refrigerate until cooking.
Bake for 45-50 mins, uncovered, basting a couple times with pan juices (or not, I often forget this step and it turns out fine.)
Serve over rice. On each plate, put a chicken piece on the rice, spooning sauce and assorted bits over top.
If you're really pressed for time, or you've got a big jumbo tray of chicken on day 4 in the fridge and it's now or never to deal with it, just use the marinade part (liquids, herbs, brown sugar), and forget the food bits (raisins, etc.) Cook it up and either freeze in portions with some of the liquid, or slice and serve cold on salad, or reheat, the marinade itself is delicious and easy to throw together.
A rice cooker is a life saver. It’s wonderful not having to look after a pot on the stove and instead visit with friends or read until the chicken is done. I've had a Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5 ½ cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker for years, it's wonderful. Expensive initially, but has more than paid for itself in convenience all these years later. (Be sure to wash both the bowl and the cover plate by hand, not in the dishwasher, and don't lose the little plastic measuring cup it comes with, as it doesn't seem to correspond to any regular measurement.) I've seen them on Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond, but I got mine at our local big box asian grocery store, T&T Supermarket.