I recieved this recipe from a 60-year-old Russian woman while on student exchange in Moscow. Unlike most Russian dishes, this dish is relatively easy to prepare, but it is very elegant. I reccomend it with borscht and meat dumplings.
Pat chicken thouroughly dry with paper towel and sprinkle sides with salt and pepper In a 10 to 12-inch skillet melt two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of oil over high heat.
Add chicken skin-side down and reduce heat to moderate.
Fry until sides are golden brown.
(Don't worry if the inside is pink, we will be cooking the chicken more later) Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the celery, carrot, and onion to the fat remaining in pan, stirring occasionally, and cook until the vegetables are soft but NOT brown.
Return the chicken to the pan and lay the parsley and bay leaf on top.
Pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Lower the heat and simmer for thirty minutes, basting it from time to time with the juices in the pan Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of water, the 1 1/2 cups of prunes, the lemon juice, and the sugar.
Place on high heat.
Bring prunes to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until prunes are tender.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and arrange attractively on an ovenproof platter.
Scatter the cooked prunes over the top.
Cover the platter loosely with foil and put it into the oven.
Press hard on the vegetables with a spoonback releasing the juices.
Set juices aside.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in the skillet and add the flour.
Cook on high heat until flour is golden brown.
Pour in the 1/2 cup of reserved prune juice and the 1/2 cup of reserved pan juices (if there is less then 1/2 cup, make up for it by augmenting it with the chicken broth) Boil until sauce is smooth and thickened.