Chicken Marbella

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The first chicken recipe listed in “The Silver Palate Cookbook,” this was a hostess favorite because you could put all the ingredients together to marinate the night before and bake it right before dinner. The combination of prunes, capers and olives may seem faddish, but it still tastes darn good. Note: the original recipe is written to serve 10 to 12. I have halved the quantities, but feel free to play around with measurements. The recipe is pretty indestructible.

5 pounds of chicken pieces (a combination of dark and white meat, if you like, bone-in or boneless; it works any way)
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
Chopped parsley for garnish

In a large bowl, combine all but last 3 ingredients. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer in 1 or 2 large shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, basting frequently with pan juices until done. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat. Serves 6.

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