Friday, January 27, 2012

Chicken Marbella

When I tossed a bag of prunes in our shopping cart this weekend, my husband stopped, looked at me and said nervously "what are you going to do with those?" "The same thing I'm doing with the Spanish olives" I replied. Which didn't seem to comfort him the least little bit. So I told him it was for a chicken recipe and assured him it was from a reputable cookbook. He still looked unsettled. Then I reminded him that prunes are just dried plums and pointed out that calling them dried plums is way sexier and really they've gotten a bad rap just because they help keep you regular. Nothing. Then a few days later, I made the chicken and he was much happier and way more relaxed (and he had seconds).

Yield: 6-8 servings

2 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered (or 5 lb. assorted chicken parts)
1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled and finely pureed
2 tablespoons dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes (a.k.a dried plums)
1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley or cilantro

1.       Preheat oven to 350º F.
2.       In a large bowl combine chicken, 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.
3.       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.
4.       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.
5.       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.

Note: 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.

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.

from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins,
I put my chicken in a plastic bag to marinate. I doubled
the bag actually (I wasn't taking any chances after my bag broke
the day before Thanksgiving when I was brining our turkey).

adding red wine vinegar
adding olive oil
Spanish olives
all the ingredients in the bag
I smooshed everything around and then put it in the fridge.
Every once in a while I would smoosh it some more and flip it.
marinated chicken in the baking dish
topped with brown sugar and white wine
done (that was easy)

This was really tasty. It's a little sweet from the prunes
and brown sugar. But the wine, vinegar, olives, capers, and
garlic manage to keep it all in check. Just right.

I should mention that I scaled this recipe down (cut it in
half - it originally called for 10 lb. of chicken). My
modest family of three just wasn't up for that challenge.

No comments:

Post a Comment