Reba McEntire’s “Not That Fancy” Cookbook

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There is something about Reba McEntire’s smile that makes you want to smile back.  She might be a superstar but comes across like the girl next door.  This book is full of stories, too many to list here, but definitely worth reading.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Reba’s dreams, hopes, struggles, hard work, happiness and sadness, and no matter what, she always dusted off her Oklahoma boots and moved on.  She also shared a lot family recipes.

Even though the book is full of wonderful recipes, the chapters are not listed by food, but rather by life, such as “Keep Dreaming Forward,” “Do What you Love,” and “Wear What you Want and Put Some Fringe on It.”

There are many family recipes of good Oklahoma cooking like a Cherry Coke Barbecue Burger, Nashville Hot Chicken, Mama’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, Smoked Brisket, Wild West Winning Chili, Onion and Jalapeño Haystacks, and Pecan-Smoked Beer Can Chicken Tacos.  But there are also some recipes for favorites like banana pudding, pimiento cheese, strawberry shortcake, salted chocolate chip shortbread cookies, salsas, beans, cornbread, and macaroni and cheese.

I was drawn to a different kind of recipe for chicken thighs that are baked with some of my favorite ingredients like capers, stuffed green olives, prunes, olive oil, and garlic.

It’s an easy oven dish and the chicken thighs are not even browned, but instead are top-coated with brown sugar and bake up crispy and golden.

We loved it!

Thank you to my Oklahoma sister-in-law Ellen for giving me this book as a gift last Christmas.  It also reminds me of my time living in Oklahoma City and having such wonderful friends who I still love so dearly.  Oklahoma will always be in my heart.

Lise Davis's Heart-and-Soul Warming Chicken
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup pitted prunes
  • ½ cup small Spanish olives
  • 1 jar (3 ounces) capers, drained
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Place olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and oregano in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the prunes, olives, capers, and bay leaves.
  2. Season the chicken thighs moderately on both sides with salt and pepper. Add them to the marinade and toss gently to coat.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Arrange the chicken thighs skin side up in a 3 or 4-quart baking dish. Pour marinade into the dish, allowing the prunes, olives, and capers to rest around the chicken. Pat the brown sugar evenly over the chicken.
  6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the thighs are crispy and golden, and have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  7. Transfer all to a serving platter and drizzle with pan drippings. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.


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2 Responses to Reba McEntire’s “Not That Fancy” Cookbook

  1. May 31, 2024 at 6:40 am #

    The Silver Palate Chicken Marabella recipe.

    • May 31, 2024 at 2:42 pm #

      I think everyone loves the Silver Palate recipe, usually with a couple adaptations. It’s a classic!

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