Your New Go-To Dinner Party Recipe!

IMG_3737.JPG

While we are enjoying amazing fall weather this weekend, the days will start to get colder (unfortunately). This usually means that as Canadians, we retreat indoors in favour of cozier activities. With summer days full of bbqs, and long hot afternoons spent on the dock behind us, my favourite part of the cooler, shorter days to come is the renewal of the dinner party! 

Seriously, is there anything better than enjoying delicious home-cooked food over wine and great conversation with the best of friends?! I don't think so. You don't have to worry about cabs and travelling in the cold and the rush of the restaurant pace isn't there so you can linger over dessert and another glass of wine for as long as you want. While the actual party itself is just the best, the prep work can be a bit stress inducing. What to serve, how much to make etc. etc. 

That's where this amazing chicken recipe comes in. It was shared with my by my mother-in-law-to-be and it is a definite crowd pleaser! The prep work is minimal, so you won't be trapped in the kitchen while your guests enjoy appetizers (*cough* cheese!). By minimal, I mean you can actually prep it the night before and then just pop it in the oven as the appetizers go out.

What's better? With the addition of prunes, the chicken has a natural sweetness and whole ton of soluble fibre which will keep your guests satisfied long after the last plates have been cleared. Other than keeping you regular (sorry, not dinner table talk, I know.), soluble fibre slows the rate that food leaves our stomach, slowing the absorption of sugar into our blood stream which helps keep our blood sugar stable. Soluble fibre also helps lower cholesterol by soaking up excess bile in the intestines and excreting it. Bile is made from cholesterol in the liver to help digest fat. When bile is excreted, the liver must use cholesterol to create more and thus there is less circulating cholesterol in your blood stream.  Prunes are also high in phytonutrients which help prevent chronic diseases. By serving this recipe you'll practically be taking care of your friends' health (not only are you a great host, you are also a great friend). 

Chicken Marabella 

**This recipe is originally from the Silver Palate Cookbook by Julie Rosso & Sheila Lukins. 

Ingredients

  • 4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered (Note: Chickens were not at a good price the day I made this so I just used a family pack of 10 chicken breasts)
  • 1 head of garlic, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted prunes 
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives 
  • 1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice 
  • 6 bay leaves (remember to take out before eating!) 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 cup white wine 
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley or cilantro 

Directions 

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken with garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate over night or for at least 2-3 hours. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar, and pour white wine around them.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Chicken is done when the juices run clear (rather than pink). 
  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter for the big reveal. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle with parsley. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauce pan like gravy. 
  6. Enjoy! 

Wondering what to serve with this perfect dinner party main for the full trifecta? For our dinner party last week, I served a green salad, roasted root vegetables a fresh baguette and apple crisp for dessert! 

What are your dinner party go-to recipes! Share them with us by commenting below! We love to hear from you! 

xo Kath