Notes from the cookbook:
"This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It’s good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious hors d’oeuvre.
The overnight marination is essential to the moistness of the finished product: the chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it travels well and makes excellent picnic fare.
Since Chicken Marbella is such a spectacular party dish; we give quantities to serve 10 to 12, but the recipe can successfully be divided to make a smaller amount if you wish."
4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered [see above; I use boneless, skinless second joints]
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano [I usually use Italian Spices]
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 [remove before serving; I omit]
Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight. [Note: I often don't plan ahead and only marinate for ~ half a day. Also to save pans, I put the chicken thighs arranged flat in one or more shallow baking dishes and pour/sprinkle the other ingredients over them. I then (with clean hands) mix all ingredients well, turning the chicken several times while it marinates but arranging the chicken pieces flat before cooking.]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans. [I tuck prunes and olives under the chicken so they are less likely to scortch (see photos above)]. Spoon marinade evenly. over the chicken then sprinkle chicken pieces with:
1 cup brown sugar [I use much less sugar; 1/3 - 1/4 cup]
and then pour around the pieces:
1 cup white wine
With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle with:
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
Pass remaining pan juices in a sauce boat.
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