Last week I Twittered that I was thinking of making Chicken Marbella – a recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook. I prepared it over the weekend … boy-oh-boy … it’s a winner!
Chicken Marbella is such a spectacular party dish – the recipe measurements below are good for 10-12 servings -or- make for a dish that you can eat off of for days on end. Reasons being that it’s good hot or at room temperature -and- it tastes better the second day after baking! The first day I make it I like to serve it with brown rice -or- couscous. On the second, I serve it room temp with arugula salad = so delish!
Keep in mind that 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.
6-8 whole chicken breasts (12-14 halves)
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 (This recipe calls for only prunes, however I always add a cup of apricots as well!)
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
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.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
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 pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.
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 sauceboat.
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.