Won’t you be my neighbor?

April 7th, 2009

This is one of those posts that for some reason, I cannot figure out what exactly to say… Maybe it is the fact that my brain has been so busy lately keeping Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Property and Copyright issues all straight in my head, that writing a post is very difficult. Or perhaps because this recipe is from a very good friend and I’m not quite sure how to adequately articulate that…

N and her family are our former neighbors in Chapel Hill. My family moved away from the “Thrill” when I was in college. As families, we became very close. I refer to her son as my “Other Little Brother.” He spent many afternoons playing with my brother and raiding our house for Ritz crackers (my mother only bought them for him). When I go back to Chapel Hill, I stay with them. I know that I always welcome. Plus, they have the most AMAZING couch!!! It is so comfortable! I remember once N had fixed up the guest room for me but I still slept on the couch. I used to walk over just to nap sometimes…

Some of my favorite times (and my sister will agree) have been sitting around their kitchen table talking. N always fixes something that is delicious and we will sit for hours talking. They are part of my family. This recipe is from N. It is as good at it looks… a really delicious mix of flavors. It also reheats really well, so is excellent to make in a large batch and eat throughout the week. I did not get sick of it, even four meals later. A very good comforting meal and reminds me of being back in Chapel Hill… something I need sometimes as school gets more stressful and Chicago continues to be cold…

Chicken Marbella

(adapted by N from the Silver Palate Cookbook)
Marinate chicken overnight

1 and a half pounds each, quartered (I use a variety of boneless breasts)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives (I add more – see what you think when the chicken is in the baking pan)
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
¼ cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro)

In a large bowl combine chicken pieces, garlic, oregano, pepper, salt taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in one or two shallow baking pans.
Spoon marinade over evenly.
Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour wine around them.
Bake 50 min to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices.
Transfer with slotted spoon to a serving platter.
Moisten with pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining sauce in sauce boat.

(I usually serve it at room temperature*N)

P.S. Check out and enter my Cry Me an Onion Contest! I’ve gotten some great submissions and would love some more!

Also, GO HEELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NCAA CHAMPS 2009!!!!!!!!!

7 Responses to “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

  1. VeggieGirl on April 7, 2009 4:20 pm

    Hang in there!!

  2. Emily on April 8, 2009 2:48 am

    Mmm, this dish sounds very flavorful.

    You poor thing! I bet it is freeeezing in Chicago. It’s only slightly warmer here. I’d rather be where you are.

  3. Sophie on April 8, 2009 3:27 am

    Wow, I love this dish!!! Yum yum yum!!! I love your marinade!

  4. Resa on April 8, 2009 4:53 am

    Now you have me craving some of her gumbo. I should go over there more often. Last visit they made mojitos and took me to the taco truck. They’re so awesome.

  5. Manggy on April 10, 2009 8:55 am

    Oh! The sauce is slightly sweet! That’s my kind’a groove. Yummy! Sorry I can’t think of an onion recipe I like that much… It always seems to play second fiddle ’round here!
    Good luck with your studies. If for some weird reason you end up in Manila, know that you’ll always have a place to stay here too :)

  6. Kevin on April 10, 2009 11:16 am

    That meal looks really tasty!

  7. Let the weekend begin… at Just Get Floury on February 25, 2010 5:08 pm

    [...] tomorrow.  I used Slam Ya Mama as the Cajun Spice… brought into our life by our neighbor, N… she’s from Louisiana so I think it’s [...]

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