Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chicken Marbella

Have you ever heard of a scrumptious, wonderful dish called Chicken Marbella? It comes from the famed Silver Palate cookbook. It's a heavily circulated and well-known recipe. Chances are, someone you know has made it or tried it at a dinner party. It's a fabulous dish for entertaining.

I was tired of all my chicken recipes, so I decided to give this unique recipe a try. The chicken is marinaded in a delicious combination of prunes (yes, prunes! trust me on this one, it works wonderfully in this dish), green olives, capers, garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil. After the chicken has time to soak up all the yummy flavors, it's finished off with brown sugar and white wine before heading into the oven.

My family and I just loved this dish. The combination of sweet and savory was unique and delicious. This dish was exquiste served over jasmine rice to soak up the myriad of tasty flavors. We also enjoyed glazed carrots on the side. This was the perfect compliment to the chicken.

Chicken Marbella 

Source: Silver Palate Cookbook
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 cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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.

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.

*I halved the recipe and found the amount of brown sugar to be a tad too sweet. For the full recipe, I would recommend a loosely packed 1/2 cup. If you half the recipe, try 1-2 tablespoons. Don't completely omit the brown sugar though, it adds a depth of flavor that balances out the saltiness of the capers and green olives and highlights the prunes.

Glazed Carrots
Source: Betty Crocker
1 1/2 lbs baby carrots (or regular ones cut into pieces)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1 inch water to boiling. Add carrots. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 8 to 9 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
In a 12-inch skillet, cook remaining ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Stir in carrots. Reduce heat to low. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are glazed and hot.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a scrumptious dish! Something I'd love to eat for lunch...



Bake-A-Holic said...

Yes, this dish is wonderful anytime! I'm making it again this weekend, since I have everything oh hand but the chicken.


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