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Chicken Marbella, Three Ways

October 4, 2009

Chicken Marbella with Couscous and Carrots

I have been saving this recipe to post to my new blog, but setting up the new blog has been taking longer than I anticipated, and this chicken was so good, and so versatile, that I decided I couldn’t wait to share it any longer. The recipe comes from The Silver Palate Cookbook, and was apparently one of the first dishes to be offered at the Silver Palate food store. I discovered it only after reading about the death of Sheila Lukins, one of the founders of The Silver Palate, and I’m glad I did. I had the impression that The Silver Palate Cookbook was a throwback to the 80s and had never thought to pick it up. Now that I know better, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and try more.

I also can’t wait to cook more with prunes. I know, sounds crazy, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sweet richness they added to this chicken. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover prunes are nothing more than dried plums. I suspect if they were called dried plums instead of prunes they wouldn’t have such a geriatric reputation.

This isn’t a quick weeknight dinner kind of recipe. It requires some foresight, as the chicken is supposed to marinate overnight. But it is a great Sunday night recipe, because the leftovers can be used in a number of inventive ways, providing several more lunches and dinners throughout the week. I made a tasty chicken salad by adding a bit of plain yogurt and mustard to the chopped chicken, and leftover Chicken Marbella also makes a great topping for pasta. I’m willing to bet there are even more delicious things to do with Chicken Marbella, and I fully intend to make this again so I can discover what they are.

Chicken Marbella

I roasted some carrots alongside the chicken, and served it over couscous cooked with shallots and fresh herbs. The vinegary, salty, olive-y marinade makes a delicious sauce, and while it might sound disgusting, packing the leftover, cut up chicken in the oil and pan juices helps to preserve it, a little bit like a confit. I did not want to use four whole chickens, because I really didn’t need that many leftovers, so I adapted the recipe a bit to use two bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Thighs would probably be delicious, as well.

Chicken Marbella
Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook, as discovered on Cookstr

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c. pitted prunes (I didn’t chop them, but I might in the future)
  • 1/2 c. Spanish green olives
  • 2-3 T. capers, with a bit of caper liquid
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 large carrot, cut into sticks
  • a handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Combine the oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and make sure the pieces are well coated. Cover and refrigerate over night, or for at least two hours.

Chicken Marbella Marinade

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a baking dish, and pour the marinade over evenly. Sprinkle the chicken with the brown sugar and pour the white wine in the dish around the chicken. Add the carrots around the chicken, coating well with the marinade so they don’t dry out.

Bake, basting every ten or fifteen minutes with the pan juices, for about an hour (or until the chicken juices run clear when pricked with a knife or the temperature reaches 170). Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Spoon some of the pan juices over the chicken and carrots to serve.

Chicken Marbella with Couscous and Carrots

Marbella-style Chicken Salad

  • about 1 c. leftover chicken meat, chopped, with a bit of the olives and prunes if you like
  • 1-2 T. plain, whole milk yogurt or mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pita, tortilla, or two slices of good bread
  • a leaf or two of green lettuce

Mix the chopped chicken, yogurt, mustard, and salt and pepper well. Serve in your bread of choice, with some lettuce, and maybe a juicy tomato slice or two, if you’re into that kind of thing. A bit of chopped red onion would probably also be very delicious here.

Chicken Marbella Pasta

  • leftover Chicken Marbella, chopped, with a good amount of the oil and pan juices
  • about a cup or two of pasta
  • perhaps some zucchini or green beans or whatever vegetables you have on hand

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the leftover chicken with the pan juices and oil. Heat until cooked through. If you’d like, add some zucchini or blanched green beans and cover the skillet to steam them a bit. Stir into cooked pasta and enjoy.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2009 6:55 pm

    Your photography is getting so good!

  2. October 4, 2009 10:47 pm

    Thanks, babe! It really helps having abundant lighting in my kitchen. Fluorescence may be hard on the eyes, but it’s great for my camera.

  3. Phyllis S. permalink
    December 21, 2010 9:53 am

    Looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

  4. January 14, 2011 8:40 am

    Since I found your website a few months ago, I always check here first. This time I was looking for a chicken salad recipe and found this page. I don’t have all the ingredients but I may try some sort of variation of the Marbella. I love your recipes so keep them coming!

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