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Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella– a delicious, classic American recipe that is great for entertaining. Very elegant and easy to make!

Chicken Marbella in a yellow baking pan

This dish is perfect for entertaining

I don’t know about you, but I love entertaining. I grew up in a culture where people still like hosting, and hospitality plays an important role in their lives.

Even if we did not have much when I was growing up, the kitchen was always the most important room in the house. Sunday meals were a must. 

I do remember my grandmother’s food, but mostly I remember her effort to make the dining table look beautiful.

A clean table cloth, the “good silverware,” the fancy napkins kept for the occasion, the tall glasses for wine all made the table look elegant and inviting.

Music was always playing in the background while the family enjoyed the meal. The food was simple, hearty, and delicious.

My grandmother showed her love to her family through food. It was her way of telling us that she loves us by bringing us all together around her table.

Entertaining should not be complicated, elaborated, or crazy. There are a gazillion recipes out there that can be made in advance, so you feel overwhelmed.

Food is the instrument to bring people together, and that inspired me to share this recipe with you today,  a recipe that is one of the most popular American recipes for entertaining.

What is so special about this Chicken Marbella and why should you make it.

This recipe of Chicken Marbella is not a new one. I decided to post it here because I fell in love with it, and it is one of my favorite recipes when I entertain. This is a dish made with chicken, prunes, capers, and green olives.

The flavor profile is interesting and worth the attention.

The recipe comes from the famous The Silver Palate Cookbook– by  Sheila Lukins & Julee Rosso. The book was first published in 1982 and it kind of revolutionized American cooking. The authors brought Spanish, Mediterranean, and Asian flavors to a time when everyone was obsessed with French cooking. 

Probably, the Chicken Marbella dish is the most popular recipe from the book, but there are so many other recipes worth making, that will never get old.

Chicken Marbella, though, is the recipe that people made for entertaining, Easter, or even Sunday meals.

I like the recipe because:

  • It is incredibly easy to make
  • The chicken is juicy as you have to let it sit it in this amazing marinade made out of garlic, spices, vinegar, olive oil, and juice from the capers. There is also white wine involved, green olives and prunes.
  • It can be assembled with a day before and just bake it before the guests come.

How to make Chicken Marbella

This recipe is spectacular to serve for dinner, and it’s great, both hot and cold. It has capers, prunes, and olives, which make the dish elegant and tasty. The spices and the white wine will give the dish lots of flavors.

Step 1.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, garlic, oregano, pepper, coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.

This is the first thing you need to do. The overnight marination is essential for the finished dish.

Chicken marinated with prunes, green olives, capers and wine in a yellow baking dish- for Chicken Marbella

Step 2.

The next day, when you are ready to prepare the dish, preheat the oven to 350F. Grab one or two shallow baking pans and arrange chicken in a single layer. Spoon marinade over it evenly.

Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake, but make sure you baste the chicken with pan juices. Chicken is done when it reaches at least 165F and the juices run clear.

Step 3.

When done, transfer everything to a serving platter. Pour a few spoonfuls of pan juices on the chicken and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro.

Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat for extra sauce on each plate.

How to serve this dish cold.

Chicken Marbella can be also served cold, or at room temperature. To serve it cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter.

If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken.

Try it and you will not regret it. This is an elegant, beautiful, and delicious dish! And also, so easy to make, that it doesn’t even feel like cooking.

People will think you slaved all day in the kitchen. How cool is that?

Chicken Marbella out of the oven

What kind of chicken can I use?

Feel free to use whatever part of the chicken you have available. Also, you can cut the recipe in half if you have less people around the table.

The original recipe requires 4 chickens, quartered, but I used different chicken parts with great success on many occasions.

Bone-in or without bone, is also your choice and a matter of preference.

Chicken Marbella From The Silver Palate Cookbook in a yellow baking dish

Make sure you calculate about 6 to 8 ounces of chicken per person when you plan the menu. You can get away with it by preparing only this dish, besides some light appetizers and maybe a salad as a starter.

Chicken Marbella overhead picture

I also cut on the amount of brown sugar. One cup seems to be too much for my taste, and it might be for you as well, if you are not into sugar much, or try to avoid it. 

For dessert, if you don’t want to make anything complicated, serve this easy recipe that you cannot fail at Five Minutes Triffle. 

If you feel like baking something, then try this Orange Almond Flan– a Spanish delicious recipe that will end the meal in style and everyone will enjoy.

And the results are amazing. As a matter of fact, I cannot wait to have it for lunch tomorrow. I just made another batch tonight, and it came out divine. Leftovers are great too.

Chicken Marbella -close up

Enjoy!

More recipes to love:

Roasted Chicken And Potatoes

Chicken Soup With Sour Cream And Garlic

Caldo de Pollo or Chicken Soup Mexican Style (Instant Pot)

Peanut Butter Chicken

Chicken Marbella From The Silver Palate Cookbook- featured picture
Yield: 10 servings

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella From The Silver Palate Cookbook4

Chicken Marbella- a delicious, classic American recipe that is great for entertaining. Very elegant and easy to make!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Inactive Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds chicken parts- legs, thighs, breast (you can use any part of chicken you prefer with bones or without)
  • 1 head of garlic peeled and finely pureed
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • ½ cup pitted Spanish green olives
  • ½ cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar(or to your taste)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley and/or fresh coriander finely chopped, cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken parts, garlic, oregano, pepper, coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and marinate it overnight in the fridge.
  2. O the next day, preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly.
  4. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, and baste the chicken frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when it reaches at least 165F inside, and the juices run clear.
  6. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.
  7. To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved liquid over the chicken.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 551Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 779mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 40g

Did you make this recipe?

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Sara

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

I want to try this recipe but 1/4 cup of oregano sounds like a lot. Can less be used? Thanks!

The Bossy Kitchen

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Hi Sara, 1/4 cup of dried oregano means 4 tablespoons. 4 tablespoons is not much when you look at the amount of chicken that the recipe requires, which is 10 pounds. It feeds 10 people so that 1/4 cup of oregano is not a lot. You can definitely scale back on ingredients if you do not make it for so many people.

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