Chicken with Blackberries and Brown Sugar

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  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 3.5 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 3/4 tsp. sweet paprika
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. mashed fresh blackberries or blackberry preserves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 c. fresh blackberries (optional) for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 1/4 cup of the wine into a large nonreactive baking dish. Arrange chicken pieces in the dish skin side up; sprinkle with thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Bake 35 minutes, adding remaining wine and the chicken stock to pan as juices evaporate; baste occasionally. Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar with the mashed blackberries, garlic, vinegar, oil, cumin, and remaining 1/4 tsp. paprika in a small bowl. Spoon the blackberry mixture over the chicken and continue baking about 10 minutes more, basting occasionally, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

Transfer chicken to a serving platter; cover loosely with foil. Pour cooking juices into a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before spooning over the chicken. Garnish with fresh blackberries. (Note: Fresh blackberries create a more tart sauce, whereas blackberry preserves produce a thicker, more sweet sauce.)

Accompany with Cooper-Garrod Cabernet Franc