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Video: "Silver Palate" chefs cook classics

updated 5/8/2007 11:10:35 AM ET 2007-05-08T15:10:35

Recipe: Chicken Marbella

This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate shop, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives, and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It’s good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious appetizer.

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.

  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1⁄2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
  • 1⁄2 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and finely puréed
  • 1⁄4 cup dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 chickens (21⁄2 pounds each), quartered
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.

4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.


Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring the pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in the juices, then allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken.

Serving Size

16 pieces, 10 or more portions

Recipe: Salmon Mousse

This is a Silver Palate Cookbook classic and continues to taste just as fresh and new to us each time we make it. It was with us the first day we opened the store and the only time it wasn't available was when we'd sold out. It's light and pretty, and one of those foods you'll just enjoy time after time.

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann's
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated onion
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 cups finely flaked poached fresh salmon or canned salmon, skin and bones removed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Watercress, for garnish
  • Toast, pumpernickel, or crackers, for serving

1. Soften the gelatin in the cold water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the boiling water and whisk the mixture slowly until the gelatin dissolves. Cool to room temperature.
2. Whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, grated onion, Tabasco,  paprika, salt, and dill. Stir to blend completely and refrigerate until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 20 minutes.
3. Fold in the finely flaked salmon. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is thickened to soft peaks and fluffy. Fold gently into the salmon mixture.
4. Transfer the mixture to a 6- to 8-cup bowl or decorative mold. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
5. Garnish with watercress, and serve with toasts, pumpernickel, or crackers.


Note: Use the accumulated juices from the jelly-roll pan to enrich soups or sauces.

Serving Size

At least 12 portions

4 to 6 portions

Recipe: Baked Ham with Glazed Apricots

From day one, The Silver Palate shop always featured this baked glazed ham and every single day it sold out. This is a cocktail buffet and picnic favorite with endless possibilities for leftovers. Don't save it just for holidays.

  • 1 ready-to-eat ham with bone in (12 to 16 pounds)
  • Whole cloves, to cover the surface of the ham
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 1 pound dried apricots
  • 1 cup Madeira
  • Favorite mustards, for serving
  • Favorite chutneys, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Peel the skin from the ham and trim the fat, leaving about a 1/4-inch layer to protect the meat. With a sharp knife score the fat in a diamond pattern.
3. Set the ham in a shallow baking pan, insert a whole clove in the crossed point of each diamond, and pat the mustard evenly over the top and sides of the ham. Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar and pour the apple juice into the bottom of the pan.
4. Bake the ham for 1 1/2 hours, basting frequently.
5. Meanwhile, combine the apricots and Madeira in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from the heat.
6. At 30 minutes from the end of the baking time, add the apricots and their liquid to the roasting pan and continue to bake and baste the ham.
7. Transfer the ham to a large platter. Attach the apricots to the top of the ham with toothpicks. Skim the fat from the pan juices and pour the juices into a sauceboat. Accompany the ham with the mustards, chutneys, and pan juices.

Serving Size

20 to 25 portions

Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Salad

We feel this is a chicken salad with style as well as substance. It is dressy enough to serve as a main course, delicious in a sandwich, and so simple to assemble that you'll soon know the recipe by heart. We adore this recipe and think it's pretty safe to say that it wears well-it has for decades now. You can always vary it by using black walnuts, or by tossing in some green grapes or dried cranberries.

  • About 3 pounds boneless, skinless whole chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Crème Fraîche or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-long pencil strips
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled dried tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large jelly-roll pan. Spread evenly with the crème fraîche and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
3. Shred the meat into bite-size pieces and transfer to a bowl.
4. Whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken mixture.
5. Add the celery, walnuts, tarragon, and salt and pepper, and toss well.
6. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours. Taste and correct the seasoning before serving.


Note: Use the accumulated juices from the jelly-roll pan to enrich soups or sauces.

Serving Size

4 to 6 portions

Recipe: Carrot Cake

In the beginning, Sheila’s mother drove her famous carrot cakes down to Manhattan daily from her Connecticut kitchen. The cake became a Silver Palate classic; it may now become yours as well.

  • Carrot Cake
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups corn oil
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1⁄2 cups shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 1⁄3 cups puréed cooked carrots
  • 3⁄4 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon (optional)

Carrot Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch springform pans.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the walnuts, coconut, carrots, and pineapple.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges have pulled away from the sides and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 minutes.
  4. Cool on a cake rack for 3 hours. Fill and frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly sift in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. The mixture should be free of lumps. 3. Stir in the vanilla, and lemon juice if desired. Frosting for a 2-layer cake
Serving Size

10 to 12 portions


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