Nicky Stubbs was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by “good home cooks and cooking” and in her wonderful cookbook For Friends & Family, she has lovingly recreated the treasured dishes of her childhood. Nicky associates food with “nourishment, comfort and love”, and I, for one, am delighted! I’ve known her for years as a special colleague, but her culinary expertise passed me by. Now she has single-handedly restored my love of cooking with this gem of a book and I can’t stop. This is her version of Chicken Marbella, which is simply sublime. She says: “I have adapted this recipe from the wonderful American classic The Silver Palate Cookbook. I have reduced the sugar, added one or two ingredients and made it suitable for South African weights and measurements. This easy-to-make and delicious dish feeding a crowd. It never fails to draw gasps of admiration.”
Serves 8 to 10
16 pieces chicken (drumsticks and thighs)
100 g cloves garlic, puréed
60 ml (¼ cup) dried origanum
salt and black pepper
125 ml (½ cup) red wine vinegar
125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
250 ml (1 cup) pitted prunes
1 packet (200 g) green olives, pitted and drained
125 ml (½ cup) capers, with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
45 ml (3 tbsp) dark brown sugar
chicken stock powder for sprinkling
250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
chopped fresh parsley or coriander, or
combination of fresh herbs, to serve
1. In a large bowl with a lid or covered in plastic wrap, marinate the chicken with the
garlic, origanum, salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and bay leaves
overnight or for at least 8 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
3. Arrange the chicken pieces in two large roasting pans and pour over the marinade. I use
my iron casserole serving dishes as there is less washing up.
4. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with sugar and chicken stock powder. Season lightly with
salt and pepper. Gently pour over the wine.
5. Roast for 1 hour until the chicken has browned nicely and a lovely sauce has developed
from the pan juices and wine.
6. Serve sprinkled with chopped herbs.
Recipe from For Friends & Family by Nicky Stubbs. Reprinted with kind permission of Human & Rousseau, an imprint of NB Publishers. My grateful thanks to Nicky, whose cookbook has reminded me why I used to love cooking – for my family and my friends! Read my interview with her and discover why food and cooking are an integral part of her life.
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