Words by Margie Cooney of The Denizen
For the next instalment of our monthly Denizen in the Kitchen with F&P series, our intrepid Creative Director, Anna, whipped up a delightful chicken Marbella with Israeli couscous.
It was a tasty, perfectly balanced meal that filled us up just enough to still be able to squeeze in a slice of our advertising manager’s chocolate birthday cake. Ideal.
For those unfamiliar with Marbella, it’s at once simple and elevated, easy to make but sufficiently sophisticated. It’s a great dish to opt for if you want to impress dinner guests without having to attempt something overly complex, and considering we were armed with the best kitchen appliances in the business, the process was a breeze.
This is how you can create your own at home.
This recipe was adapted from Annabel Langbein.
12 chicken thighs
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
zest of ½ a lemon
1½ cups white wine
1 cup pitted prunes
½ cup pitted green olives
3 tbsp red wine vinegar, plus 2 tbsp extra
3 tbsp capers, plus 2 tbsp of the brine
1 tbsp oregano leaves
1½ tsp salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp runny honey
Italian Parsley, chopped roughly
1. Mix all the ingredients (apart from the honey and extra vinegar) in a non-reactive dish. Cover or seal with glad wrap and chill for a minimum of 12 hours — but no longer than 24 hours. The marinating process is essential to this dish’s success.
2. Preheat your Fisher & Paykel Built-in Oven to 180°C fan bake and arrange the chicken thighs and marinade in an oven proof dish. Combine the honey and extra vinegar and drizzle over the chicken before putting in the oven and baking until it’s cooked through and golden (about 50 minutes).
3. Baste after 30 minutes to keep the chicken moist.
4. When the chicken has about 10 minutes left, prepare approximately 300 grams of Israeli couscous by placing in boiling salted water and cooking for 7-8 minutes.
5. Serve the chicken on a bed of couscous and drizzle the juices from the pan over the top before sprinkling with chopped parsley and a helping of rocket lettuce.