Today on All Sorts Of, we’re sharing a delicious chicken Marbella recipe from one of our favorite local chefs, Sophie Dalah (read more about her work and inspiration here!)
4 or 5 chicken thighs
2 tbsp Kosher Salt (like Crystal) if using Morton's half the amount
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp celery seed
1/2 tbsp sumac
1 tsp baking powder
4 celery stalks cut on the bias thin
Pinch of sugar
4 shallots peeled whole
1 medium yellow onion cut in half through the root end and thinly slice
3 anchovy fillets
1tbsp celery seed
Whole head of garlic peeled
Couple strips of lemon
1/2 tsp cinammon
1/2 cup of Kalamata olives
1 cup of Castlevetrano olives
7 dates pitted and torn into different sizes
1 cup red wine
1 cinnamon stick
Step 1: Brine the Chicken!
We’re going to dry brine our chicken to help make it extra flavorful and yum. Best case scenario is that you do this the day before and leave them on a rack overnight in the fridge, but a couple of hours will still help a lot – fret not!
Mix your salt, oregano, celery seed, sumac and baking powder in a bowl until it’s well combined, then toss your chicken thighs until well coated. Place them skin side up, uncovered on a drying rack set over a sheet pan in the fridge.
Step 2: Quick Pickle!
Thinly slice your four stalks of celery crosswise.
Put your cut celery in a small bowl and pour in half vinegar and half water until celery is just barely covered in liquid. Add in a big pinch of salt, a big pinch of sugar and mix it all up.
Toss it in the fridge to get yum until you’re ready for it.
Step 3: Make the Sauce!
Preheat your oven to 375.
Cut your onion in half through the root end, peel, and then slice each half in thin half moons.
Peel your shallots by cutting off the tip opposite the root end, doing a shallow cut down the length of the shallot and then peeling the skin away. Shallots cook whole in this recipe until they are yum and jammy, so just cut off the little root part.
Tear your dates in half to remove pits, and set aside. Take one whole head of garlic, remove the cloves and peel – we’re also throwing these in whole.
Heat a large dutch oven or sauce pan over medium heat and generously coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil. Add the oregano and celery seed into the oil. Once it smells fragrant, about a minute – throw in your thinly sliced onions, season with a pinch of salt and toss to coat well.
Cook your onions for about two minutes, stirring occasionally and then put your shallots, garlic, olives, three anchovy fillets (trust me!), three strips of lemon zest, and your dates, toss to combine. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper and cook that yum mix for three minutes to get delicious.
Next – add in one cup of red wine and your cinnamon stick and bring the liquid to a simmer. We want the wine to reduce, so cook for another three minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it lightly coats the back of a spoon and is delicious to taste – it’s done!
Step 4: Cook the Chicken!
Take a baking dish and and pour your Marbella mixture evenly across the bottom.
Place your chicken thighs skin side up into your dish, evenly spaced out and nestled onto their yummy Marbella bed and then put them into the oven for an hour. After the chicken has been in for an hour, raise the temperature to 400 for 10 extra minutes to crisp the skin.
Once they look golden brown and crispy on top take the whole mixture out and set aside.
Step 5: Finish it Up!
Get your saucy mixture onto the bottom of the plate and place your beautiful crispy chicken on top. Top everything with a shower of your quick pickled celery, and a bit of flaky salt and you’re ready to serve!