This year, we've been fortunate that the gophers and squirrels haven't made off with our fruits and veggies. All our trees have produced prolific crops of fruit, but the plum trees really stand out. We were able to gather large baskets of Santa Rosa plums, Red Raven plums and pluots.
I made a coffee cake with some of the plums and used the rest in this roast chicken dish. The acidity of the plums is an effective tenderizer for the meat, and the sweetness provides contrast. In the past I've used other fruits such as Asian pears and the plums worked wonderfully as well. I also added whole peeled plums at the end of the cooking as a garnish and as a reminder of the flavors that permeate the chicken and as the garnish.
I butterflied a whole chicken and placed it in a roasting pan on a bed of celery stalks so the chicken didn't burn and remains moist. I basted the meat several times; this extra step really makes a difference in ensuring that the final product is moist and delicious. Yum!