If you’ve ever eaten Chicken Marbella from “The Silver Palate Cookbook,” this recipe is somewhat similar in flavor, but with far fewer calories. It uses only two teaspoons of oil, rather than the 1/2 cup called for in the well-known recipe for Chicken Marbella. A few other things are different here. There’s cilantro, rather than parsley, balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, and most noteworthy – figs rather than prunes. Unless you’re Stacey, from Stacey Snacks, (a real figaholic if ever I met one) the jury is still out on the figs. I think the prunes melt more into the sauce, lending a sweetness that the more sturdy figs don’t. But change is good sometimes. Both recipes are great for make-ahead meals, since they can be assembled and marinated ahead of time, then baked right before serving.
I made this with boneless chicken breasts that weighed a total of about 1 1/4 pounds. It would easily have served three people. However, you can use as much as two pounds of chicken with the quantity of ingredients in the recipe below.
Chicken With Olives and Figs
Adapted from a recipe in the Oct. 2004 issue of Health Magazine
about 10 olives, sliced in half (I used kalamata olives)
about 10 dried figs (slice some in half)
3 T. light brown sugar
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. dried basil
2 t. extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 c. chicken broth
1. Combine all the ingredients in a zip-lock plastic bag, except the white wine and chicken broth. Let it marinate in the refrigerator at least four hours, turning bag occasionally. Leave it overnight if you want.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Remove chicken from bag. Place in a casserole or baking dish. Pour broth and wine over mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.