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So, I binged the My Magical Cottagecore Life podcast last week (yo, this podcast is excellent) and between the gooseberry episode and the one about jams, I couldn't stop thinking about this thing I used to make: blackberry chicken. It's something I used to throw down in the Time Before I Had Children, when I used to make foods because I liked them, but this one slipped out of my repertoire—and probably for no good reason except that I ran out of blackberry jam and I forgot to buy more.
First, a warning:
I am not a chef.
I'm a barely-passable home cook on most days, but I do (sometimes) find cooking cathartic, I'm an acts-of-service hearth woman who likes to put food into the people she loves, and I'd rather eat my own cooking (or my mom's cooking) over restaurant food just about any day. But I overcook things a lot. And I cut corners. And sometimes I don't bother measuring.
But I made a thing, and the family liked it.
And before you're like, "That's not enough food," stop judging me; I had just eaten an entire row of Girl Scout cookies already.
After that, I moved the chicken to a little lidded baking dish. I had a good amount of oil still in the pan, but if it had gotten too dry, I'd have just added more oil to loosen up the browning on the pan, because that's the good stuff.
I used the finest of store-brand-whatever blackberry preserves/jam/jelly, which this time happened to be seedless (which may be why the Finicky One approved) but doesn't have to be. I put some (oh, measurements—like a third of the jar—several scoops; y'all, it's jelly, you can't screw it up) into the pan drippings and smoosh-stirred it with my spatula until it was thin and sticky and it appeared that I'd committed a murder.
I spooned the blackberry-and-drippings deliciousness onto the chicken, and then slathered it around with a basting brush. It was thick, and I didn't want the sugary stuff to scorch, so I added water (how much? some. IDK, like a quarter inch in the bottom of the pan or something) and swished it around some more. That went, covered, into a 350 degree oven for however long I needed it to sit in there while I prepared the rest of the stuff we ate: carrots, cucumbers, mashed sweet potatoes, and buttered toast sticks (look, I only had two pieces of bread and there were three of us, so that was a way to make it equitable). It wound up being about 20 minutes. The chicken was already cooked, so I just wanted it to suck up some juice in its lidded dish and the blackberry glaze reduces better that way—it burns in a pan on the stove.
And then we ate it. Because that was the point. We were hungry, and that was dinner. We ate outside because Colorado was pretending it was summertime, and we wanted to pretend along before snow hit again. I look like I'd done yard work all day because, in addition to making dinner, I'd done yard work all day.
The kids asked for it again the next day. #success