Chicken Marbella

by Marbella Family

Although technically not Spanish, this now famous and delicious dish was inspired by it's creator's travels to Spain and Morocco. Its is easy to make and is a great party dish. It's good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious appetizer. 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.

Original Recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

8 chicken legs, drumstick and thigh attached, skin on (2kg net)
5 garlic cloves, crushed
15g fresh oregano, torn, plus extra for garnish
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
100g pitted green olives
60g capers, plus 2 tbsp of their juices
70g pitted and quartered lengthways Medjoul dates
2 bay leaves
120ml dry white wine
1 tbsp treacle or brown sugar
Salt and black pepper
fresh parsley or cilantro to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine chicken, 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.

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