Chicken Marbella and Couscous

How long has it been since I blogged?

That was the question that I asked my cooking club this morning.  I have been seriously uninspired in the kitchen lately (thus the lack of blogging) but hosting cooking club made me get my act together.  I pulled this recipe out of the vault - its an oldie from the Lincoln Heights Dinner Club.  It is super easy (just marinate and bake) and despite that fact that I forgot to buy prunes and used raisins instead it was really good.  I would note that this isn't a particularly low GI meal (lots of sugar in the dish from the fruit and the brown sugar) but it is a nice once in awhile treat.

Chicken Marbella (from AllRecipes)

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pitted prunes, halved  (or raisins, which I found out was a good substitute!)
8 small green olives
2 tablespoons capers, with liquid
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, and cut into pieces (remove skin if you wish - we didn't)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley added to marinade)

In a medium bowl combine the garlic, prunes, olives, capers, olive oil, vinegar, bay leaves, and oregano. Mix well. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 10x15 inch baking dish. Add the chicken pieces, stir and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to prepare, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove dish from refrigerator. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and pour white wine all around chicken. 

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, spooning juices over chicken several times as it is baking. Serve on a platter, pouring juices over the top, and garnish with parsley (note that we used dry parsley in the marinade instead of fresh).

Fruited Couscous (Adapted from AllRecipes)

2 cups vegetable broth
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups dry whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Pour the vegetable broth into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add the butter, apricots and raisins. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the couscous. Cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve (note that you can also sprinkle with cinnamon if desired).

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