This recipe has special meaning to me.
Not only was it part of my mother's wooden recipe box, it originally came from one of her friends, Liz Leahy. Mrs. Leahy also had two daughters, one of whom was in my high school class- and had Leukemia. Jackie Leahy was a good friend to me, but never made it to college- sadly succumbing to the Leukemia. I think Jackie was my first real lesson in the shortness of life. She would have danced through life herself, had she been given the chance.
I don't know where the Leahys are today. I went 2,000 miles away to college, and then moved across the country. But every time I see this recipe, I remember the wonderful dinners Jackie's mother would host in the Leahy's beautiful lakeside home. Chicken Marbella was just one of many delicious main courses we enjoyed. The original recipe came from the Silver Palate cookbook, but my mother made a few small changes.
I hope you cook this recipe, enjoy the meal, celebrate those you may have lost in your lives, and let their memories go with you into the future.
The Rediscovered Recipe Box #2-
4 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/3 cup dried oregano
coarse salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a little bit of the juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped
In a large bowl, combine first 10 ingredients, cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. 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 50 min. to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Transfer chicken to platter along with prunes, capers, and olives and sprinkle with cilantro. Pass remaining cooked pan juices as sauce. Serve with toasted french bread or over rice.
Just a quick note: I love this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and really any meat that you have; pork, beef, rabbit- even fish! Its just a super marinating technique with lots of yummy levels of flavor! Leftovers are divine.