Who knows why but I had a hankering for Chicken Marbella the past week.
The recipe from Chicken Marbella was one of the classic chicken dishes served at the Silver Palette back in the day when it still existed. A small storefront on the upper west side just north of 72nd street. At that time, the Silver Palette was a gourmet gem in a city that always loved food but these two women, Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, were changing the way we bought pre-made food to heat up at home. Now you can walk into any Whole Food and have your choice of interesting flavors and meals to bring home but back then, 1984ish, it was a diamond in the rough.
Eventually they sold their store and their name and their products. All of their products which they sold at their store eventually began to sell on the shelves around the country. You can still buy their products today. Two smart women entrepreneurs who were really just smart home chefs.
I still own the original cookbook which I think I might have bought at their shop. I love this recipe because it is so damn easy. I am going to write down the exact recipe (sans garlic) but I actually only used 2 chickens but kept the rest of the ingredients. You could do 4 chickens but that is a lot of chicken. Think 1/4 of a chicken per person. Also, this recipe calls for marinating the chicken over night. I have done that in the past but screwed up this time around and so it was only in the refrigerator for a few hours marinating. Believe me, it was still delicious. This chicken is really good cold too.
4 chickens, quartered
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives (I used Green pitted olives that had been marinated which was fine)
1/2 cup capers with juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro (I bagged this)
In a large bowl combine the chicken quarters, oreagno, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, capers and juice and bay leaves and a bit of kosher salt and pepper for taste. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a large baking pan. Spoon the marinade over it. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the chicken and pour the white wine around them.
Bake for about 50 minutes or until the chicken registers around 175 on the thermometer. Take it out and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Serve the chicken and dribble a little bit of the juice, prunes and olives on top. Sprinkle with parsley and cilantro if wanted.