Growing up, I would thumb through my mom’s cookbook collection and find one of my favorites, The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. As an incredible entertainer, then and now, my mom would often look here for inspiration. Chicken Marbella is one of the most famous dishes from that book, with its special combo of sweet prunes with briny capers and olives. This adaptation works great for batch cooking or for entertaining.
1 to 2 chickens (about 5 pounds in total), quartered, or 2 packages (about 1½ pounds) firm tofu
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup pitted prunes
¼ cup pitted Spanish green olives
¼ cup capers in brine, drained
3 bay leaves
1 head garlic, cloves separated and smashed or minced
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped, or 2 tablespoons dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ cup white wine
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
If using chicken, pat the pieces dry and place them in a large bowl. If using tofu, drain the packages and wrap the tofu blocks in paper towels. Put them in a roasting pan and place a small plate on top of each. Place a weight (a book, a heavy bowl, a can of tomatoes, etc.) on top of each plate to apply pressure. Set aside for at least 1 hour.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken or tofu to the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Transfer the chicken or tofu to a roasting pan and pour the marinade over the top. Sprinkle with the coconut sugar and top with the wine.
Bake for 1 to 1½ hours. The chicken is done when thigh pieces yield clear golden juices (not pink) when pricked with a fork. The tofu is done when the top begins to brown.