Monday, August 31, 2009

Queen of Chicken Marbella......

A Cooking Icon dies at the age of 66.....

Sheila Lukins, the author of the iconic 1980s cookbook "Silver Palate Cookbook" has died after a short battle with brain cancer.Lukins wrote the cookbook in the early 1980s after running a shop called the Silver Palate on New York's Upper West Side with colleague Julee Rosso. Its recipes -- including olive-infused chicken Marbella-- became mainstays of the '80s kitchen.

Lukins had been diagnosed with brain cancer only three months ago. Her illness progressed very quickly. For the past 23 years she had been a food/recipe contributor for Parade Magazine. Taking the place of the famous Julia Childs.

In addition to “The Silver Palate,” which is among the top 10 bestselling cookbooks of all time, Lukins also co-wrote “The New Basics” and “The Sheila Lukins USA Cookbook.” Her books have sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. Lukins was also a sought-after guest on many food panels and TV shows, including on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning.”

A native of Philadelphia, Lukins first dreamed of a career in art. She attended the Tyler School of Fine Arts, the School of Visual Arts, and graduated with honors from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in Art Education. After graduation, she decided to pursue a culinary career and attended the Cordon Bleu School in London, while working as a freelance graphic designer for theater productions. She continued her education in Paris, and later worked alongside renowned chefs in Bordeaux.

In 1977, Lukins returned to New York and co-founded The Silver Palate, a gourmet food shop that quickly launched her career as a culinary master. In 1995, she was named an “ American Food Legend” by the James Beard Foundation.

During a career that spanned four decades, Lukins changed the way Americans eat. She became a household name not only for her unforgettable meals, but also for inspiring people to become better cooks!

I am repeating a post I did in January.....This dish a a main stay in my kitchen, along with her various cookbooks.......So sad.......
She will truly be missed!

"The ingredients in Chicken Marbella might have seemed wildly exotic to our palates in 1979. Who would think that we would eat prunes, green olives, and copious amounts of oregano and garlic? Our adventuresome palates were awakening." — Sheila Lukins

More than any other recipe in Sheila Lukins's wildly successful The Silver Palate Cookbook, which she coauthored with Julee Rosso in 1982, Chicken Marbella became a standard at dinner parties — bold, sweet, and savory flavor made with lots of garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, oregano, dried plums, and olives. When I make it, I use boneless chicken breasts and double the amount of olives and prunes — oops, I mean dried plums.

The overnight marination is essential to the moistness of the finished product: the chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it travels well and makes excellent picnic fare. It is also great dish for entertaining. You can make a big batch with wings and drumsticks as an appetizer. I made it for dinner last night and served it with brown rice. Here is my version adapted from their book, with my little changes....


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pitted dried plums
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives and black olive mix, Sliced and whole
1/8 cup capers, with some juice
3 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled and pureed
2 Tbl. oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 chicken breast, boneless, skinless (or boneless thighs are cheaper)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/8 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

** In a Ziploc bag, combine the oil, vinegar, plums, olives, capers and their juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken zipper the bag and massage, then refrigerate overnight.

**Set the oven at 350 degrees.

** In a large roasting pan, deposit the chicken mixture from the bag, in a single layer. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pour the wine around the edges, and cover.

** Bake the chicken, basting towards the end of baking with the juices in the pan, for 35 to 45 minutes.

**With tongs, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a large platter for serving. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the cooking juices. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.
NOTE: This dish is excellent cold or even on a salad, if you have leftovers.

This makes for a great warm dinner,
on a cold winter night....

1 Others Say::

suburbangrandma said...

What a year this has much talent lost in one year...I hope it stops is way to sad to keep this list going.
You did a beautiful job with your tribute to Sheila Lukins.