IMG_3093Taught to me by an old friend when I lived on the west coast, this chicken marbella is exotic and warming in the winter‎. The cumin, lemon and hint of cinnamon reminds me of what I ate during North African backpacking adventures years ago, although the origin of the recipe is Spanish. It can be made the day of, or evening before and is aromatic, sweet and salty all at the same time.  Serve alongside rice, couscous or quinoa.

chicken marabella

8 chicken thighs (or 2-3 pounds combo of breasts/drumsticks/thighs)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red pepper chopped into large chunks
1 onion sliced
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons capers with some juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 dried figs halved and stems pinched off
handful chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into baking dish. Can be made up to 12 hours in advance to marinate. Place chicken pieces all skin side up. Bake for one hour. Stir once. Hint: it’s a forgiving recipe, feel free to replace figs with prunes, or capers with green olives. This version is just my favourite. Enjoy!

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