Silver Palate Cookbook
anniversary story in last week's Food section prompted a deluge of reader responses, ranging from a 70-year-old woman from Levittown who gives the cookbook to every young bride she knows, to the man who remembered his ex-wife swearing by the book while she swore at him.
But most readers had one pressing question: Where were the apricots in the Chicken Marbella recipe?
The recipe was printed correctly from the cookbook, but in the story I raved about this dish with apricots, prunes and olives. Truth is, I had been adding apricots to that recipe for so many years, I didn't notice it wasn't in the original. So, if you like, add 1 cup of dried apricots to the recipe. No need to reduce the amount of prunes.
After the story appeared, I heard from co-author Julee Rosso, who offered another take: Chicken Marbella (sans apricots) as an appetizer. The recipe follows. It calls for the chicken to be chopped into bite-sized pieces, and increases the prunes, olives and capers, so that everybody gets the good stuff with each bite.
First Course Chicken Marbella
6 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 cups pitted prunes
2 cups of pitted Spanish green olives
1 cup of capers, with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
1. Combine all the ingredients except brown sugar, wine and parsley. Cover, marinate, and refrigerate, overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Arrange chicken in shallow baking dish and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken with brown sugar and pour the wine around it.
4. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes, basting 2 or 3 times. Then broil for 3 to 5 minutes to brown it a touch.
6. Spoon chicken, olives, capers and prunes onto small plates, moisten with pan juices, and sprinkle with parsley.