I made Chicken Marbella last night, in tribute to Sheila Lukins of Silver Palate fame, who died on Aug. 30. Here’s the NYT obituary.
My copy of the Silver Palate cookbook is 25 years old and dog-eared….but somehow I’d never made Chicken Marbella, its most famous dish.
The recipe calls for FOUR whole chickens!
I only made about a quarter of the recipe, and used skinless chicken thighs. You marinate the chicken overnight and cook the next day.
The unusual flavor comes from the sweet-salty combo of prunes, green olives, brown sugar and capers. I’m sure it is derived from Spanish Arabic cooking, because many Middle Eastern dishes use dried fruit or other sweet flavors with meat.
I served it with bulghur (cooked with some sauteed onions and beet greens) and there was extra sauce from the Chicken Marbella to pour over it.
It was delicious.
Recently I was visiting my friend Cathy when her daughter, Lily, sent her a text, asking for the Chicken Marbella recipe so she could make it for a dinner party. Cathy texted back the ingredients on her iPhone. Evidence that the Silver Palate Cookbook has staying power into the 21st century.