Throwback Thursday: Updating a Cookbook Classic
In 1977, a gourmet shop called the Silver Palate opened in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and introduced New Yorkers to their first bite of chicken Marbella. Inspired by the Moroccan tagines and Spanish braises that owners Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins had sampled while traveling abroad in the 1960s, the shop’s signature dish offered Americans a taste of then-exotic flavors: briny capers and bold Spanish olives baked with chicken and tender prunes in a sweet-and-tangy sauce. The shop closed in 1993, but the dish lives on in kitchens throughout America. We wanted to resurrect the dish, and do so in a manner that saved time and boosted flavor. To achieve our goals, we ditched the original marinade and made a paste of the prunes, olives, capers, garlic, and oregano, which we spread on the chicken and caramelized into the sauce. To boost meatiness and complexity, we added anchovies and pepper flakes and browned the chicken skin in a skillet before baking it through.