Chicken Marbella

This recipe was shared with me by my boss’ boss who loves to cook. We were talking about simple dinner recipes and cookbooks in general, and this recipe came up. Growing up with these types of Mediterranean flavours, I automatically knew it was going to be a household favorite.

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After all the hype of this recipe, I did some research about the cookbook and origin of the shop in New York called The Silver Palate and bought the cookbook before ever making this recipe! It’s a terrific cookbook and I highly recommend it.

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This recipe is perfect for those huge family gatherings that you never know what to serve. We like to switch it up between serving it with rice, couscous or orzo with a side cucumber-tomato-feta salad. Super delicious!

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Add the majority of the ingredients in a bowl, shove it in the fridge over night to get happy and then pop in the oven the next night. Super simple with big flavour!

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I love how the prunes (dried plums) plump up in the oven. A fork full with a piece of prune, olive and chicken is my favorite combination!

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The original recipe calls for 2 whole chickens, quartered. I’ve used a Costco sized pack of chicken breasts to make this recipe and another time, I’ve used a pack of thighs. All versions came out delicious. Depends what cut of chicken your household prefers.

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Once cooked, place all chicken, prunes and olives on a serving dish and pour the rest of the sauce into a gravy boat.

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Chicken Marbella

Prep time: Overnight     Cook time: 50 minutes to 1 hour    Cool time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives

1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice

6 bay leaves

1 head garlic, peeled and finely puréed

1/4 cup dried oregano

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 chickens (2 1/2 pounds each), quartered or 10 breasts or 10 thighs

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro , finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with the pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest point, yield clear yellow juice (not pink).

With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Serve remaining juice in a gravy boat.

{Slightly adapted recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook}

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