…from the Perspectives’ Kitchen
How you doin’? Perspectives has worked with two companies that have “exotic” ingredients trying to go mainstream. So I decided to put them both together (along with other ingredients) because the flavors of dates and Castelvetrano olives are too outstanding to keep secret.
A date is a stone fruit. It has a single seed surrounded by an outer fleshy fruit (like peaches, mangoes and olives—more on olives later). They’re grown on date palm trees, on date farms where you would normally see coconuts. Just picture a big forest of palm trees with bunches of hundreds of dates!
They are the oldest cultivated fruit in civilization. Think back 50 million years and you’ll find dates according to fossilologists. Humans quickly learned about their magic in Mesopotamia and the date has remained popular in that region (Iraq, Middle East, Northern Africa) ever since. Egypt is the largest producer of dates today, followed by just about every other Middle Eastern country.
There are about a million and one varieties of dates grown around the world, but in the U.S., you’ll mostly find the plump and tender Medjool Dates. There’s also the slender Deglet Noor Date, supposedly the “Queen of Dates”.
The Castelvetrano olive, also known as Nocellara del Belice, is an olive varietal from the Valle del Belice region of Sicily. Famous for its mild, buttery flavor, crisp bite and meaty texture, Castelvetrano olives are popular with both hardcore olive lovers and olive-eating newbies. They are harvested young and unlike other olives, they're not cured. They're simply washed in a lye and water bath for a few weeks until the bitter flavor is removed.
Divina Castelvetrano Olives (sold at Amazon) take the top spot for their meaty texture and deliciously buttery flavor, perfect for martinis, other cocktails, snacking and Chicken Marbella with Medjool Dates.
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks attached)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 ounces drained, pitted Castelvetrano olives
3 ounces capers and their brine (small size)
7 Medjool dates, pitted, cut into eighths
7 tablespoon minced garlic
2 dry bay leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon date syrup (or honey if you can’t find date syrup)
ChefSecret: The longer you marinate the chicken, the mellower the flavor will be.
Quip of the Day: A guy sits down at the bar and orders a Martini with two olives. The bartender gives him the drink, he takes out the two olives, puts them aside on a napkin, drinks the martini, asks for another. By the fourth Martini with two olives, the bartender asks the man "I don't mind, but I gotta ask....why do you ask for a Martini with two olives, then take the two olives out of it?" the man replies "My wife sent me to the store for a jar of olives but the store was closed."-------------------------------------------
Do you have a question or comment? Send your thoughts to email@example.com. All recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America and/or American Red Cross.
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