Chicken Marbella

JUICY CHICKEN STORY!: Chicken Marbella recipe was voted the fan favourite dish of the 25th anniversary edition of the Silver Palate Cookbook. Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins get top billing for popularizing this chicken dish. The  real inspiration was from  the tajines of Morocco and from the cuisines of southern Spain. It also has a similarity to the classic French dish “lapin aux pruneaux“.  It was never discovered in  Marbella but in New York city.  However, the flavour influences were from those areas.   S.S.F. has given this dish a new healthy spin. This recipe is S-O-O-O delicious. It is a great dish for entertaining and can be served hot for dinner or even cold for an outdoor picnic. It will be a smash hit every time. Three bay leaves helps makes this a stunning dish famous for its sweet, tangy, briny, garlicky flavor. Cutting back on the brown sugar maintains  the right balance of flavors.

Chicken Marbella Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Marinating time: 3 hours to overnight
  • Yield: Serves 5-6

Although the original recipe calls for 4 small chickens to be quartered, you could easily do this recipe with 5 pounds of chicken pieces, thighs and breasts. Bone-in pieces would be more flavourful.

This recipe can easily be doubled.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on
  • Garlic cloves, 5 minced
  • 4 Tbsp dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 cup or 8 large pitted Spanish green olives, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or preferably a brown sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

METHOD

Marinating Chicken

1 Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, sugar substitute, wine and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight. (You can also optionally freeze at this point.)

2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken in a large baking pan, top with marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer in the pan and spoon marinade over it along with all the other ingredients: prunes, olives, capers, etc.

Final Touches

3 Bake until done: Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Chicken is done when a sharp knife inserted into the thigh pieces, at their thickest point, run with clear yellow juices (not pink).

4 If the sauce is watery, remove the chicken and reduce the sauce  to make it thicker and more flavourful.

5 Serve with pan juices. With a slotted spoon, move the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Pour some of the pan juices over the chicken and sprinkle generously with parsley. Serve remaining juices in a gravy boat.

6. If serving cold, let the Chicken Marbella cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerator and you are serving it outdoors or at a picnic site, allow it to come to room temperature before serving. By the time you arrive at the al fresco site or have your table set and the sides out, the temperature should be fine. Spoon some of the reserved juices over the chicken.

Chicken Marebella -Plated For A Starry Night

DRIED PLUMS OR PRUNES YOU’VE BEEN IGNORING: Whether you have 1 prune or 10 prunes a day, you not only improve muscles, bones, digestion, you improve your eyesight. Vitamin A and K are included in this super food. Bone density is improved more with prunes than any other fruit. Some doctors claim after 3 months reverse osteoporosis occurs when adding [100 grams = 10 prunes = 240 cal]  prunes to your daily diet.  It is also a deterrent for arthritis.  You can adds prunes to your smoothies, trail mix or simply snack on a prune if you are looking for a sweet treat!

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: ¼ of recipe Calories: 402 Fat: 25 Saturated fat: 3 Unsaturated fat: 15 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 29 Sugar: 13 Sodium: 829 Fiber: 4 Protein: 10 Cholesterol: 25
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SUPER BOWL Super Snacks! Super Tasty!

MEXICAN SHREDDED CHICKEN
This is a perfect snack while watching  SUPER BOWL LI on  Sunday.
I used the spice mix featured in my HOLIDAY GIFT Spice Jars  that Is used in this Mexican shredded chicken recipe from Always Hungry? ..by renowned Harvard endocrinologist Dr. David Ludwig See the full story on Ambition Nutrition.  Dr. Ludwig returned to Toronto where his wife Chef Dawn demonstrated some of the wonderful recipes from his book .  The Mexican chicken dish was a big hit! I have already made it four times because it is so fast andvery’ easy to make! Bonus: kids love it!
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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • spice mix:
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (grind you own in a mortar and pestle)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered red chili i.e. Ancho, chile de arbol or New Mexican
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper ~ or ~ to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (use Kosher or sea salt )
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix the spices together in a plastic bag. Add the olive oil and combine. Add the chicken and evenly coat. You can refrigerate this overnight.
  2.  Film the frying pan with 1/16″ oil and set over moderately high heat.  When very hot but not  smoking place the chicken in the pan in one layer without crowding.
  3.  Cover; cook turning regularly especially in the beginning, until the oil and juices from the chicken begin to make a sauce. Add water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to keep the mixture from burning or sticking. Cook until the chicken is cooked throughout, 15 to 20 minutes. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pan, pulling along the grain to create thin strands. Shredding the chicken disperses more flavour.
  4.  Continue to heat the shredded chicken, stirring frequently, until the liquid and spices have been absorbed and thicken, another 3-5 minutes.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 to 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings (about 3 cups)
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.

A VARIETY OF SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Chicken is so tender, juicy and versatile. You can serve it in a myriad of ways.
(1) A filling for tacos
(2) Casseroles, Mexican lasagna
(3) Tortilla or quesadillas (topped with guacamole or sour cream)
(4) Mexican Shredded chicken on pita bread
(5) Chicken salad with tortilla chips, avocado and red peppers
(6) Pizza

shredded-chicken-three

HAT2 FOOD TIP:  After removing the cooked chicken from my pan, I added cream (or  use water)  to the hot pan along with pink peppercorns and started swirling the pan to loosen all the tasty bits in the fry pan.  I poured the cooled mixture  into a glass mason jar.  After a day in the fridge,  I stored the sauce in the freezer.  If you use chicken thighs with the bone in then toss the bones into a pot of water  with leftover vegetables like carrot tops or the core of a cauliflower (save it all ) for a healthy, home-made chicken stock.

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Chicken Stock made from chicken  bones and Pink Peppercorn Sauce from pan drippings.

 

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW?
WHAT GIVES MEAT ITS COLOUR ?
The reddish colour of dark meat comes from the  myoglobin, a hemoprotein (an oxygen-carrying protein) The more myoglobin, the darker the meat and the richer the nutrients. Myoglobin provides muscles with the oxygen they need during exercise or movement. The flightless chicken use their ‘myoglobin’ legs to get around pumping those muscles into a red ‘myogloben’ frenzy.  I bet some of you didn’t know that.

100 g (3.5 ounce) of skinless chicken thigh = 7 g of fat.
100 g (3.5 ounce) of skinless chicken breast = 3.6 g of fat.
100 g (3.5 ounce) of chicken wings = 8 g of fat. A raw chicken wing weighs approximated 3 ounces, or 89 grams

DARK MEAT IS RICHER IN NUTRIENTS THAN WHITE MEAT: CHICKEN THIGHS contain protein, niacin, phosphorous,  Vitamin A, K, D, B6, B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid,  selenium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc (protects immune system) and iron. Niacin helps to build and maintain healthy skin, and aids in the digestion and absorption of food. Vitamin B6 is needed for protein metabolism and amino acid synthesis. Keep in mind that  the darker the meat the more nutrition in the meat.