The New York Times calls this dish “as classic as Grand Central.” It is very easy to prepare and a definitive crowd pleaser. Get cooking!
- 4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered (click here to learn how to choose your food wisely)
- 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 extra virgin 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 organic brown sugar
- 1 cup white wine (a quality American Sauvignon Blanc is a good all-around choice)
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh cilantro (coriander), 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.
Since Chicken Marbella is such a perfect party dish, we give quantities to serve 10-12 , but the recipe can easily be divided to make smaller amounts.