Chicken Marbella

IMG_5880 The Silver Palate Cookbook offers the most well known version of Chicken Marbella.  Regardless of this dish’s roots from Spain’s south coast, it is their recipe that has made the dish well known in North America.  I have always used the proportion of ingredients exactly as written, allowing for a change of amounts depending on how many I’m serving.  It creates a succulent, slightly sweet, fruity chicken that is an amazing addition to a buffet, and works equally well when individually plated.

The cooked prunes & olives complement the chicken wonderfully.  It’s a good thing to serve a dish that surprises your guests.  I’m sure this recipe has converted more than a few non-prune eaters!

Don’t feel the need to add more, as the amounts of capers, dried prunes, and olives are perfect as written.  It is essential to allow at least 24 hours of marinating time.  From the first time I used this recipe, it has always stayed in my top ten ways of preparing chicken.  Continue reading

Cassoulet (Ann’s North American version)

IMG_2244Cassoulet is the original pork and beans.  Each region in France seems to have their version, goose or duck and whichever sausage the region is known for.  My first taste of cassoulet was from Oyama Sausage.  It had confit of duck, their own sausage, and such a light tomato sauce.  We had it for Christmas lunch, and for many years since it’s been our family’s tradition to have Cassoulet at Christmas.

It is a great dish for large groups of people, as it is easily doubled and tripled.  It rebounds, from being frozen, beautifully, and can be made up to 3 days ahead, just hold off with the crumb topping until you’re ready to bake it.  All that’s needed is a crunchy green winter salad, some rustic bread, and big, bold red wine.  I served it for a 65th birthday last year, and saw many folks going back for thirds!  Not that I haven’t done it myself. Continue reading