Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Garlic Delight

Over the December holidays, I had the good fortune to cater three dinners. For two of them I prepared Chicken Marbella, the well-known recipe from the Silver Palate cookbook. It truly is a wonderful dish for large groups and parties, easy to prepare and very delicious. After making it twice, however, I decided to improve upon it to suit my own tastes, and because it uses a large quantity of garlic (January’s spice of the month), the timing was perfect.

Since I’m not a big fan of drumsticks, I eliminated them from my version. The biggest change, however, was using boneless chicken parts to avoid fighting the bones while eating. Specifically, I used the thighs because they have good flavor, stay moist, and are less expensive than boneless breasts. I also quartered the prunes, so they would be similar in size to the olives. The end result was fabulous and the leftovers were even better the next day. In the future, I will cooking the boneless version, both for my family and for others.

New & Improved (!) Chicken Marbella

(adapted from the Silver Palate cookbook)

6 to 12 boneless chicken thighs
1/2 a head of garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes, quartered
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 Italian parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, for 24 to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking dishes and spoon marinade over evenly. Sprinkle the chicken with the brown sugar, the pour the white wine around them.

Bake for 45 minutes, basting frequently with the pan juices. Check for doneness (155 to 160 degrees in thickest part of thigh; there will be a small amount of carry-over cooking).

Transfer to serving dish; sprinkle with parsley. Pass remaining pan juices as sauce.

This can be served hot, room temperature, or cold (for picnics). Leftovers are even more tasty the next day!

For more delicious garlic recipes, go to Sunita's World. Thanks to Sunita for choosing such a versatile and popular spice.

1 comment:

sunita said...

Thanks for your lovely entry...the chicken looks yum.