Husband and I were invited to supper by an old friend of his who has recently moved nearby. I promise it wasn’t the enormous G&T that we were handed on arrival that subsequently made me wax lyrical about the Chicken Marbella we were served. This one pot dish had everything to my mind – moist tender chicken, the moreish sweetness of dates, the acidity of plump green olives. So thanks to Caroline and Patrick for introducing us to this wonderful dish. Obviously I would like to share it with you and so I’ve scoured the internet for a suitable recipe – and there are several to choose from. But I plumped for Ottolenghi’s version because he is one hell of a chef. He says the chicken definitely needs marinading for at least a day, preferably two, to soften and flavour properly. So plan ahead for the full on Chicken Marbella experience!
Ingredients serves 4
8 chicken legs, drumstick and thigh attached, skin on
5 garlic cloves, crushed
15g fresh oregano, torn, plus extra for garnish
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
100g pitted green olives
60g capers, plus 2 tbsp of their juices
70g pitted and quartered lengthways Medjoul dates
2 bay leaves
120ml dry white wine
1 tbsp date syrup or treacle
Salt and black pepper
How to prepare
Place the chicken in a large, non-reactive bowl and add all of the ingredients, apart from the wine and date molasses, along with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Gently mix everything together, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for 1 to 2 days, stirring the ingredients a few times during the process.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Spread out the chicken legs on a large baking tray, along with all the marinade ingredients. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over the meat. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, basting 2 or 3 times, until the meat is golden brown on top and cooked through.
Remove from the oven, transfer everything to a large platter, sprinkle over some freshly picked oregano leaves and serve.
More succulent chicken recipes here