Chicken Marbella


Strangely, olives, prunes, and capers are better together than the three amigos. Anyone get that? Chevy Chase, Martin Short and Steve Martin? No? Nobody? Sigh.
6 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved and lightly scored with a knife
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 1/2 bulb garlic, finely pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups pitted dried plums
1 cup pitted green olives, or a mix of olives such as Greek, Moroccan, or French
1/2 cup capers with about a tablespoon of their juice
6 bay leaves

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley or fresh cilantro
Place the chicken in two 13x9x2 pans. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken on both sides. (Generously, by my standards.) When adding the next ingredients, I split each ingredient in half and add it to each pan. For example, I added 2 T of oregano to each pan, then 1/4 C of vinegar to each pan and 1/4 C of olive oil to each pan, etc. Cover it with the garlic, oregano, vinegar, olive oil, dried plums, olives, capers, juice, and bay leaves. Rub the chicken well with the marinade (lift up the chicken so marinade gets on the bottom) and refrigerate, covered, ideally overnight, but at least for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with brown sugar (yes, use ALL of the sugar) and pour white wine around but not on them. Don't worry about it looking like there's too much liquid, it will evaporate later.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes (20 min if the pieces are smaller than 4" but definitely test the chicken before serving), basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices. Don't forget to lift up the chicken here too so that sauce can get to the bottom of each chicken portion.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, dried plums, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Serve the remaining pan juices in a separate bowl.

Adapted from Leite's Culinaria, Serves 10-12

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