Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A New Kind of Joy!

I have to tell you.  I am salivating right now.  Why is that, Joey?

Because this afternoon I mixed up a big ole batch of CHICKEN MARBELLA.  And THAT my friends, gives me Anticipatory Joy.  Is anticipatory even a word???  Well it is NOW!  Because Chicken Marbella has to marinate overnight.  So that means I am anticipating my joy when that first bite explodes flavor into my mouth tomorrow!

Apparently, I am in the minority when it comes to knowledge of Chicken Marbella.  Last summer, my husband brought home a container of some chicken dish from The Cooking Company.  I came down from the gym and an evening of training wonderful women and without paying even one bit of real attention to what I was doing, I stuck a fork into the container and wolfed took a mouthful of chicken.  Well.  Wellllllllllll.  I almost SWOONED.  That forkful may very well have created the most grounded moment of my life.  I literally stopped and just groaned with complete JOY.  When I say flavor EXPLODED in my mouth?  Trust me - it was the most flavorful food I had ever eaten.  I went on to demolish the container.

The crazy thing is I mentioned the experience to my brother-in-law.  I said I had the best chicken I ever had the other night.  It had olives and garlic in it.  He casually said to his wife, "Oh, that must be - what's the name of that dish?  Chicken Marbella!"  I was like, what?  No - you couldn't possibly know what the name of this dish is!  So he started describing it - prunes, garlic, olives - yes, yes!  And then my sister-in-law says, "Yea - it's from the Silver Palette Cookbook".  Oh - how stupid of me...I mean, come ON.  They work on a 150 foot yacht with a private chef.  Maybe they DO know what it's called...

So a few days later, I started talking to my fitness class about my chicken dish experience.  One of my clients casually says, "Oh yea - that's Chicken Marbella from The Silver Palette."  HUH!!!!  Am I living in the dark ages??  So I start telling ANOTHER class and someone ELSE says it.  Geeshhhhh -

Well - at any rate, I am now a connoisseur of Chicken Marbella.  I don't make it very often because I usually can't bear the wait overnight for it to marinade but I made it today and I can't wait for Anticipatory Joy tomorrow!  Here's the recipe so you too can jump on my Anticipatory Joy wagon.

By the way - the recipe calls for ALOT of chicken.  I usually cut the amount of chicken in half but keep everything else the same because I LOVE that marinade!  Enjoy!


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 fresh coriander (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

1 comment: