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Chicken Marbella Questions for dinner on Sunday 8/29...

Hi guys: Thanks for suggesting the chicken marabella; I will be making it this sunday for about 18 people( yup, I've got loads of friends). I've made quite a reputation with the roast chicken and pastitsio meals and I hope that the trend continues. So I need your help in continuing to make me feel like a culinary genius, even though, honestly, I have a passion for food but has never taken the next step of actually cooking. Now, I've totally jumped the shark!

Anyway, here's the recipe and my questions:

RECIPE
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

QUESTIONS:

1) The whitewine. I am not able to use this. Can you please recommend an acceptable subsitute? One liquid or a combo? appke juice/water/stock/lemon juice/ prune juice/other? I am not able to use white wine or other alcohol.

2) Many of the epicurious reviewers suggestd that I increase the marinade by 50 - 100 percent. How would you do that?

3) Please recommend prep times. What can I do the day before?

4) I will be serving rice as the starch because that is what was provided. I would have preferred couscous because I've never ever cooked rice in my entire life(redundant much?). How would I cook it? Technique? How much for 18 people? Ratio of water to rice? Spices? Visible queues to look for as I cook the rice, etc?

5) I will be serving ftozen green beans(yuck!) or green salad? How would I jazz these up? Vinaigrette? If you think about it, the watermelon/feta salad from 8/22 will be a hard act to follow?

6) Dessert ideas, please.

7) Is there anything else that comes to mind that will be very helpful? Like, is that amount of chicken ok?

Thanks again, guys!

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  1. 1) I believe the wine is quite important for CM. At the very least, use white grape juice and omit the brown sugar.
    3) Marinate
    4) Follow package directions, cook in broth or broth/water combo if available
    5) Nothing wrong with frozen green beans. Make GB almondine.
    7) CM is best with bone-in thighs. I like to brown them slowly on the skin side only, rendering out as much fat as possible, before placing the pieces skin side up in the baking dish, so the skin in the finished dish is not flabby. I then make sure that the bits of prune, olive, caper, and onion are not atop the chicken, so they don't burn or keep the skin from crisping. I use a big enough pan that the chicken pieces do not touch.

    1. 1- Don't substitute anything. Not worth it- I wouldn't use grape juice as it's gonna add some strange flavors. Not the same as wine at all.

      2- Double the marinade ingredients

      3- you can marinade the chicken and that's about it

      4- follow the recipe on the package, depending on what type of rice you get, the amount of time will be different.

      5- why not recreate the watermelon/feta salad then, but I would go with both a salad and a veg. Frozen green beans aren't bad. Let them thaw and then saute them in butter with some shallots and garlic.

      7- Agree with greygarious in using thighs. However, depending on which cut of chicken you use, I'd go with either 1 breast per person or 2 pieces of dark meat per person.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jameshig

        Agree with all this advice. Except that I have had good results using boneless chicken breasts. Sometimes I've cut them into big strips. Easier for serving a crowd, I think.

        (I know you've certainly bought your chicken by now.)

        Let us know how it turns out!

      2. 1. Why are you not able to use wine?
        2. Just multiply.
        3. The prep times are given in the recipe.
        4. One cup of uncooked rice makes approx. two cups cooked. Basic instructions are on the package. Don't stir while cooking.
        5. Why frozen green beans?
        6. I'm not a dessert person
        7. The recipe says 10-12 servings. You're serving 18. Double recipe.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I agree with greygarious that wine is very important to this dish. Wine is much more complex than grape juice and would not produce the same dish at all. I would suggest trying a nonalcoholic wine - go to a wine shop and talk to someone who knows a good one. Actually I am assuming it is the alcohol but maybe it is something else????