This is an amazing recipe out of the Silver Palate Cookbook–it’s one of those dishes that I can’t believe I waited so long to try. If dishes could be icons, this would be an icon–there are no imitations, it has stood the test of time, and everyone who’s tasted it, loves it.
I made it for the first time last year, wondering how on earth the ingredients would meld together. I mean really–capers, olives, prunes? But I was game; so many people rave about this recipe, I didn’t dare balk.
And it was amazing–such an easy to dish to make, with results that belie its simplicity. It immediately went into my meal rotation.
So when I had a baby, chicken marbella was one of the first meals I got together. It does take some time, as you need to marinate the ingredients overnight or at least 8 hours, but prep and cooking are straightforward and easy: throw everything into a ziploc bag with a bunch of chicken thighs, kind of shake/mash the bag so all the ingredients are mixed up together, and then stick the bag of chicken in the fridge overnight. The next day/evening, empty out the bag into a baking pan, top with brown sugar and add white wine, and pop into an oven.
No chopping. No open flames. And if you’ve got a rice cooker, you’ve got an easy mechanism with which to serve the chicken. It tastes great atop basmati rice.
Great also to send over to a new mom, too.
Recipe after the jump…
- 6 chicken thighs (or any other kind of chicken meat, or even a whole chicken, or a bunch of chicken wings–whatever floats your boat)
- 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed (I use a garlic press)
- 2 heaping tablespoons dried oregano
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (if you love salt, you could also add salt, but I think the capers & olives salt up the marinade a decent amount)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I use balsamic vinegar)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes (or dried apricots, if you’re not into prunes–but I urge you to try the prunes)!
- 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 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a large ziploc bag combine chicken, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Zip up 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.