Chicken Marbella – Comfort Food in a Flash

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If you’re not familiar with it, Chicken Marbella is a chicken dish packed with flavors (in the form of olives, capers & vinegar). I enjoyed the dish at a friends house not too long ago and decided this week was the perfect week to experiment and make this dish my own. Read on to see what made this a great week for experimenting, or scroll to the bottom for the recipe.

 
This has been a weird week. Last Wednesday (10 days ago) I called my doctor to see if she had heard from the surgeon about a procedure I needed to have ‘at some point.’ Her response was, we’re still waiting for insurance approval, but I have you booked for surgery Sunday at 7 am. WHAT?? Surgery just a few days away? The next day I met with the surgeon and my fiance managed to get my mom on a last minute flight and suddenly everything was underway. My mom arrived Friday night, we had a full day of church Christmas activities, saying farewell to friends who are moving and visiting with my fiance’s parents on Saturday. And then, 4 am Sunday I was all checked in at the hospital awaiting surgery. Surgery was 5+ hours long, which gave my mom and my fiance lots of time to get to know each other….while I was otherwise pre-occupied. 🙂
 
Surgery recovery has been quicker than pre-AIP and less than a week later I’m feeling much like myself – although I’m still moving a little slowly. I credit a lot of the recovery speed to the AIP diet pre-surgery, lots of broth (which I started enjoying in the hospital) and all the veggies.
 
The most annoying part of surgery recovery is how stir crazy I am. BUT, this is good news for you because it means (with my mom’s help) I’ve had time to be creative in the kitchen again. 
 
The first chance I had to be back in the kitchen, I decided to put my spin on a Chicken Marbella… make some AIP substitutions, add a few flavors and make it in the instant pot/ pressure cooker, for a family friendly comfort food dish ready in no time. I even cooked the chicken from frozen to save even more time. (BONUS)!
 
Chicken Marbella traditionally has olives, capers, prunes and a couple of kinds of vinegar. I swapped the prunes for apricots (because I prefer them), added lemon and spinach (because why not?), and made the necessary substitutions to make this dish fully AIP.
Sorry for the photo quality… my camera is on the blink, so it was iphone to the rescue.

Chicken Marbella
{AIP, Paleo, Instant Pot}

Time: 55 minutes total (20 minutes prep, 12 minutes at pressure)
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons lard (or olive oil)
1 large white onion (rough chopped)
2 pounds (10 pieces) chicken thighs – bone in
1 Tablespoon garlic granules
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup capers
1 cup green olives (pitted)
3/4 cup broth
1 lemon – sliced thinly – seeds removed
1 cup frozen spinach
20 dried apricots

Method:
(1) heat fat in pot on saute function – (or medium heat for stove top)
(2) saute the onion until starting to brown
(3) add remaining ingredients & stir well
(4) seal pot and set to pressure cook for 12 minutes – (or stove top, bring to pressure and allow to cook at pressure for 12 minutes)
(5) once cooked, quick release the pressure
(6) serve with root veggie mash, roasted root veggies (or rice – AIP reintroduction)

NOTES:
(1) This recipe is written to be made in an Instant Pot (or stove top pressure cooker). The alternative would be to place all the ingredients in a baking pan and bake at 350F until the chicken is cooked through.
(2) In the pressure cooker/ instant pot, the chicken can be cooked from frozen, which means it takes a few more minutes to reach pressure, but is still a great time saver if you forget to thaw something.
(3) If you’re not cooking from frozen and you have the time, you can brown the thighs to give a little more depth of flavor. 

**This recipe was shared on the Phoenix Helix Roundtable

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