A la Chicken Marbella
Roast chicken in white wine with olives and capers, I read that Chicken Marbella was an iconic 1980’s dish. It came out of a cookbook published by a New York shop called Silver Palate and it became all the rage.The original recipe had prunes and brown sugar but I used dates and molasses, so, naturally, I couldn’t call my recipe “Chicken Marbella” but, rather, a dish cooked in the style of Chicken Marbella.What's the dish like? Rich, subtly sweet and exceedingly aromatic. The acidity and saltiness of the olives and capers were mellowed by the rice wine. The molasses gave the dish a rich color. The rice vinegar balanced the sweetness of the dates. It was wonderful. I can fully understand why it became iconic in the 1980’s. And definitely a perfect dish to warm us on this cold wet day.
- 6 large chicken thighs bone-in and skin on
- 3 tablespoons salt I used sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 generous pinches dried oregano chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- 12 dates halved
- 12 pitted olives I used a combination of black and green
- 2 heaping tablespoons capers with the brine
- ½ cup rice wine
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 heaping tablespoons molasses
- Wipe the chicken thighs with paper towels. Place in a bowl. Add the salt and pepper. Mix well, rubbing the salt and pepper into the chicken.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in a non-reactive container (that means don’t use aluminum or copper). Scatter the oregano, garlic, onion slices, bay leaves, dates, olives and capers around them.
- In a bowl, stir together the rice wine, rice vinegar, olive oil and molasses. Pour over the chicken.
- Cover the container and stick in the fridge. Marinate the chicken overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge. If you marinated the chicken in a non-oven safe container, transfer them (and all other ingredients) to an oven safe pan. Let the chicken come to room temperature while the oven is preheating.
- Roast the chicken at 400F for about 45 minutes (the actual cooking time depends on the size of the chicken thighs).
- Serve the chicken with rice or bread.
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