Chicken Marbella

My first cookbook was the Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.  It was given to me by a young man I was dating at the time.  Believe it or not he also gave me a Tag Heuer watch but I kept the cookbook!   Even back then I knew it meant more to have a fantastic cookbook than a pricey watch!

Like all good partnerships, both Rosso and Lukins have parted ways (same can be said about “good partnership” with boy mentioned above!)….from what I understand their parting was not a very amicable one….nor was ours!

This book was THE foodie book of it’s day.  I didn’t know much about being a foodie or even who I was at the time, but I sure loved to use the book any occasion I could.  Here is a delicious recipe from The Silver Palate, it is very easy to make and the flavors are wonderful.  DO NOT be afraid of the prunes in the recipe, it is delicious and a MUST!

Chicken Marbella


4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered (10 pounds of chicken “parts” your fave will work)
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped

How to:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper, coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers, juice, and bay leaves.  Cover and let marinate, refrigerate, overnight.

lovely marinade

a great meeting of flavors

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly.  Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices.  With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter.  Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro.  Pass remaining pan juices to a sauceboat.

brown sugar and wine, now ready for the oven

I basted every 15 minutes and mine cooked for 1 hour....the smell is divine!

I would suggest either a rice pilaf or a buttered pasta to go along side this magnificent dish.

smells amazing and such a beautiful color, simply delicious!

Note: I didn’t put olives in because the lovely man in my life doesn’t eat them and hates the flavor (even if he doesn’t see them) so I increased the amount of capers….which we all know taste like olives but I won’t go there with him….not worth the argument!
Printer friendly: Chicken Marbella
Peace and Friendship,
another note: this recipe can be easily cut in half since the original quantities are enough for 10-12!  Just use 1-2 chickens or 5 pounds of chicken pieces to your liking….I love chicken thighs…they are cheap and cheerful! ****with skin and bones!

8 thoughts on “Chicken Marbella

  1. I love this recipe, Isabelle, and use one kind of similar…I use ‘dried plums’ aka prunes, too, and lotsa spices! How delicious…I can smell all the flavors!! xoxo Ally

  2. There is so much to savor in this recipe! I’m with ya on the chicken thighs, too — never thought of them as “cheerful” before, but you’re right 🙂 — LOVE how you look at things!

  3. I love this recipe! Chicken marbella is my all time favorite recipe. I would divide chicken into two batches, one with olives and one without. That way you get yours and he gets his! I love the combination of the capers, olives and prunes.

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