Wish Upon A Dish: Chicken Marbella

February 5, 2013

Chicken Marbella


I have two Silver Palate Cookbooks on my shelf and I rarely open them. I have two favorites that I make at least once a year, the Tortellini Salad with Orange Vinaigrette and their Lemon Chicken. I should visit those cookbooks more often. They started something, well, wonderful in the food world. Way before star chef's and gourmet restaurants, those woman were at the top of their game. Until they had a food fight and did not collaborate on another book until their 25th Anniversary edition (which I heard was not worth buying).

Why bring all this up? I finally made a third recipe from their first cookbook, but not because I took it off my shelf. I received an email from America's Test Kitchen with an update on their Chicken Marbella.
I wanted to make the original recipe to see if I thought it needed an update.
This was worth making for two good reasons. It had all the ingredients on hand and it was a good Diabetic Friendly recipe.

I made adjustments to adhere to my dietary needs. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, brown sugar substitute, half the oil and wine and I added dried apricots.
When the first thing The Nudge says when he takes his first bite (and I don't think he is aware he does it) of flavors that sing in his mouth is.......whoa, I know I hit a home run. He did a whoa and a wow.

Next time, no apricots. They didn't break down and that texture just did not blend with the other ingredients.
I did not miss the extra wine or olive oil, it made no difference in the amount of sauce and cut the bad points of this recipe in half. That's a good thing.

If you are looking for a wow factor or are tired of the same ole dinner, make this dish tomorrow. This recipe is so easy, a novice can cook like a Rock Star.
You will love it, hundreds of people agree. Now I know why this recipe put Silver Palate Catering on the map.
"This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It's good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious hors d'oeuvre. The overnight marinating is essential to the moistness of the finished product: the chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it travels well and makes excellent picnic fare."

Chicken Marbella
serves 10-12 (can be halved successfully)
Adapted from epicurious.com

* 4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered
* 1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
* 1/4 cup dried oregano
* coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1 cup pitted prunes
* 1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
* 1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
* 6 bay leaves
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup white wine
* 1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.
2. 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.
3. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.
4. With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauce boat.
5. To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.


1 comment :

Dhiraj Kumar said...


This is an exotic dish! You are really brave to cook this.
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