It has been a while since I last blogged but wintertime seems to bring about numerous occasions to entertain in our home where a fire is always burning in the fireplace. We were to go to a restaurant with three other couples but decided a restaurant can be noisy, crowded and not conducive to sitting and talking when the meal was done so we had everyone to our house. One of the best crowd pleasing recipes as well as easy is Chicken Marbella. I purchase huge half breasts(the recipe calls for quartered chicken) at our local butcher market and use a two gallon zip lock bag for the marinade. I usually do this at least a day ahead and remember to turn and redistribute the bagged chicken occassionally, bringing it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before we eat. I do this because the oils tend to congeal and I like the chicken to be at room temperature before I put it in the oven. When ready, I just dump the chicken and marinade in a large roasting pan making sure the breasts are in a single layer. On top I pour the white wine and sprinkle the brown sugar over the breasts and pop it in the preheated oven. I purchased some small meat thermometers (one for beef and one for chicken) and insert it into the thick part of the breasts towards the end of the cooking time to check for doneness.
I had planned on oven browned fingerling potatoes which is still my first choice but realized really late that I had left them at the store (if you can imagine). Luckily, I had some large baking potatoes that I quickly baked in the microwave. When done, I sliced them in half lengthwise, scooped out the potato into a bowl (be sure to keep the empty peels)and mashed them adding, butter, sour cream, bacon bits and cheese. I spooned the potato mixture back into the peels and set them on a cookie sheet until I was ready to put them into the oven to rewarm and broil the tops.
My friends brought the appetizers and a big salad. The meal was capped off by the best key lime pie ever. This recipe I got from the restaurant where I first tasted it. It is fantastic. I’ve attached the recipes for the chicken and the pie. If I had been smart I would have taken pictures – the meal was definitely picture worthy!
(For 8 large 1/2 breast I increased the marinade
recipe by 1 1/2)
4 quartered chickens (2 1/2 lbs)
1 head of garlic, peeled and pureed
1/4 dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
In a 2 gallon zip lock combine the chicken with the first 9 ingredients above. Let marinate, refrigerate over
night. Into large baking pan, arrange chicken in single layer. Sprinkle brown sugar over all the chicken and pour white wine around the chicken. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when piercing the breast with a fork releases clear juices. Transfer chicken to serving dish, spoon juices, prunes and olives. Sprinkle with parsley. Pass remaining juices in a gravy boat.
Key Lime Bistro’s 2-layer Key Lime Pie
3/4 cup granola (no dried fruit)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
3 tbs sugar
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
(I use the lo fat sweetened cond. milk)
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice or lime juice
3 large egg yolks
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese @room temp
1/2 cup sweetened cond. milk
1/4 cup fresh key lime or lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Pulse the granola in a food processor, mix Preheat oven to 350 F. Pour ingredients from bag graham cracker crumbs, add melted butter and sugar. Press crumb mixture into pam sprayed pie plate up sides and on bottom. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 300 and remove crust to cool completely. Layer 1: Whisk condensed milk, lime juiceand egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Pour into pie crust. Bake until custard is set, about 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Layer 2 Using an electric miser, beat cream cheese, condensed milk, lime juice,sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Pour over cooked baked layer smooth top. Cover and chill until firm – at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped cream.