Chicken Mar­bella

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - FOODLESSISMOREISH -

This is a dish I reg­u­larly cook for friends. All the work is done in ad­vance – you can mar­i­nate it for up to 2 days in the fridge – and then it’s just into the bak­ing tray and into the oven when you’re ready. The chicken loves the long mar­i­na­tion but it can also be cooked straight away, if you don’t have the time. If you’re go­ing to do this, just sea­son the chicken with the tea­spoon of salt and pep­per (which would oth­er­wise go into the mari­nade), rub it thor­oughly into the skin be­fore com­bin­ing it with the rest of the mari­nade in­gre­di­ents (no more salt re­quired) and bake ac­cord­ing to the recipe. I like to use chicken legs but oth­ers pre­fer chicken supremes, on the bone, which also work very well.

SERVES 4 GEN­ER­OUSLY 8 chicken legs, 60g ca­pers, plus drum­stick and thigh 2 tbsp of their at­tached, skin on juices and scored 3 or 4 120g Med­jool dates, times to the bone pit­ted and (2kg) quar­tered 5 gar­lic cloves, length­ways peeled and crushed 2 bay leaves 15g fresh oregano, 120ml dry white picked, plus ex­tra wine to serve 1 tbsp date 3 tbsp red wine mo­lasses (or vine­gar trea­cle) 3 tbsp olive oil salt and black 100g pit­ted green pep­per olives

1 Place the chicken in a large, non-re­ac­tive bowl and add all the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents, apart from the wine and date mo­lasses, along with 1 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 1-2 days, stir­ring the in­gre­di­ents a few times dur­ing the process. 2 Pre­heat the oven to 180C fan (200C/gas 6). 3 Spread the chicken legs out on a high-sided medium 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 two or three times, un­til the meat is golden-brown on top and cooked through. 4 Re­move from the oven, transfer every­thing to a large plat­ter, sprin­kle over some freshly picked oregano leaves and serve.

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