Orange Chicken with Apricots and Currants

  • 4  pounds chicken pieces
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced, fresh ginger root
  • cups purchased orange marmalade, preferably Seville
  • 1/3-cup apple juice
  • 1/3-cup fresh orange juice
  • 6 ounces (approx 3/4 cup) dried apricots
  • 4 ounces ( approx 1/2 cup) dried currants or raisins
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place chicken pieces, skin up, in a shallow baking dish and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle with ginger and spread with marmalade. Pour apple juice and orange juice into pan and bake 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and add apricots and currants, distributing evenly. Sprinkle with brown sugar and return to oven. Bake, basting frequently, until chicken is golden brown and shiny on top, 40-45 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken, apricots, and currants to a warm serving platter. Top with some of the pan juices and pour remaining juices into a serving bowl to pass. Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almonds

This is Maida Heatter’s famous Queen Mother’s Cake, from her Book of Great Chocolate Desserts.  It’s moist, great tasting, and a bit different than most other cakes.  Follow the details at the end to get the cake out of the pan.  The steps may seem odd, but they really work!

  • 6 oz (1  1/4 cups) almonds, blanched or unblanched
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 9” spring form pan

Place oven rack 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the oven, and preheat to 375º.

  1. Butter or spray a 9” spring form pan, and line the bottom with wax paper.  Butter or spray the wax paper, too.  Optional: cover the buttered wax paper with a dusting of flour or very fine bread crumbs.  Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, grind the nuts to a very fine powder.  They should resemble corn meal.  Set the nuts aside.
  3. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar, at medium-high speed, for two minutes.  Add the yolks one at a time, until they’re all incorporated.  Lower the mixer’s speed to low, and add the chocolate, only until it’s just mixed in.  Add the almonds, also only to mix.
  5. In a larger, separate clean bowl, add the egg whites and salt.  With clean and dry beaters, Beat the whites until they hold a definite shape, but don’t let them get stiff or dry.  Stir (by hand) a large spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture.  Then, in three additions, fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Spoon the cake batter into the pan, and gently spin the pan to level the top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 375º.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350º, and bake for an additional 50 minutes,  When done, the cake should be soft and moist in the center.
  8. (This is important, though no-one knows why):Wet and slightly wring out a folded towel, and place it on a smooth surface.  Take the finished cake from the oven, and place it directly on the wet towel.  Let it stand for 20 minutes.  Then release and remove the sides of the pan.  Do the “two cooling rack/flip and remove pan bottom and paper” thing.  The cake will be fragile, so be careful when moving it around.

Serve with a whipped cream, and or a chocolate or raspberry sauce