20 Aug 2012

Magical Chicken Marbella ala Mamma, with Rice and Salad

Giving my mom a kiss!

This dish is my mother's signature dish and she is a tremendous cook! She has cooked this dish for close to fifteen years to the vast praise and delight by those lucky enough to be involved. My mother first became acquainted with this dish through her friend when we lived Canada for a year while mom studied for a master's degree in education. The recipe first appeared in Julee Russo and Sheila Lukins's Silver Palate cookbook which came out in 1982. This is a particularly appetizing and inviting book. The first edition was only decorated with drawings but the 25th anniversary edition is beautifully embellished with images. One of my favorite cookbooks - therein you can, among others things, find the recipe for Chicken Monterey and then the greatest turkey recipe of all time!

The Silver Palate Cookbook

If you click here you will be brought at the speed of light to Amazon in England

Anyways, my mother recently visited us and stayed over for a week. This was less of a vacation for her and more a work-camp - where she diligently worked at her PhD from dusk till dawn, hardly straying away from her computer, except to join me in putting together this amazing dish. And as always, it did not disappoint.

Magical Chicken Marbella ala Mom, with Rice and Salad

Ready for the oven

The first step revolves around marinating the chicken. For best results, do this the night before you cook it so the herbs will be able to properly envelope the chicken and the vinegar can break down the muscle threads. In that way, the chicken will be become soft like butter.

Add some white wine

Two chickens are pieced and placed into a big bowl. Next, I poured in 150 ml of extra virgin olive oil, along with 75 ml af white wine vinegar, and 25 ml of balsamic vinegar. Then I added a cup of green olives, cup of good black Kalamata olives - it's a good rule to allow half of the juice from each type of olive to float along with. 35 chopped prunes, 2 heaping spoonfuls dried oregano, handful of chopped fresh parsely, 6-8 bay leaves and whole, finely chopped garlic.

Adding some brown sugar (or Muscovado)

Another good rule, stir the chicken occasionally while it's marinating so the pieces will be equally marinated. The following day, place the pieces into an ovenproof dish and pour in all the remaining juices. Sprinkle over dark Muscovado sugar (the skin of the chicken will perturb slightly from the liquid and become caramelized in the sugar). Finally, in addition I added a cup of white wine so there will be enough liquid with the chicken (and of course for a bit of extra flavor). Place in the oven and bake at 180 degrees for 50-60 minutes (and the chicken begins to caramelize). When the food is ready, decorate it with a bit of fresh coriander and parsley.

Ready to enjoy!

The chicken is best served with boiled rice - to absorb the delicious sauce that is produced through the cooking. And of course a bit of salad - no food without rich salad!
Donna di Valiano Chardonnay
With the food we had white wine that I had not tasted before. This time, Italian wine from the Toscana region, Donna di Valiano Toscana Chardonnay from 2009. This is a very fruity wine, sweet in the nose - perhaps a touch of vanilla. On the palette enters fruit, oaky and slightly buttery taste. A delightful sip.

A delicious meal!

Bon appetit!

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