Wednesday, 27 March 2013

TRUST Me, It's Delicious (Chicken Marbella)

Even though I'm not the most skilled cook, I love food a lot. A. Lot. There's nothing I won't try, and I usually get excited about the next meal before the current one is even finished. Going out for a dinner is great, but I especially love home-cooking and baking. Add the overwhelming joy I get from food to the fact that I watch a lot of FoodTV (and read lots of foody blogs), and you've got yourself one inspired and hungry girl.  So this post series will feature a new recipe I've tried at some stage during the month.  I'm really looking forward to doing this feature - new food experiences just make life a whole lot more interesting and beautiful.

This first recipe is not brand new to me but it is one of my most recent favourites.  The original recipe comes from The Silver Palate cookbook which was written in the early 80's.  Despite the longish list of ingredients the recipe is incredibly simple.  Don't be put off by the combination of ingredients either - by the time it's done, everything will have cooked down together to make a fantastic savoury sauce with just the right amount of sweet and sharp flavours to balance it out.

Please try it just once, it really is delicious and not naff at all for an 80's dish!

Chicken Marbella adapted from The Silver Palate cookbook

8-10 chicken pieces - thighs & breasts, bone in - remove skin if you prefer
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely puréed (or grated on the fine part of your cheese grater)
2 Tbsp of fresh oregano OR 1 Tbsp dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
8 large pitted Spanish green olives
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley or coriander, finely chopped (optional)

In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 180°C. 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 the pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest point, yield clear juice (not pink).
Transfer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or coriander. Serve remaining juice in a gravy boat.
Serves 5-8
My serving suggestions and tips:
- You can make this meal to serve 2 (with leftovers to spare), just halve all the ingredients
- Sides that go well with that delicious sauce: potato mash and wilted spinach, or crusty baguette and green salad
- Chicken thighs can be used as a substitute, if they are boneless you can roll the marinade mixture inside just before cooking (don't forget to remove the bay leaves!)
- I tend to finely chop all my olives and prunes, that way the marinade goes further, and      melts down into a much more integrated sauce when cooked. 
- You may have to buy a few ingredients to start, but most of them last for ages so it's worth the initial purchase


PS I didn't take my own pics because I forgot and ate it all.


  1. I haven't had dinner yet ... and this post, the photo alone, just boosted up my hunger pains. It looks so delicious and sounds so easy to make :)


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