Chicken Marbella

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Chicken Marbella is a classic dish that originated from “The Silver Palate Cookbook.” It features tender chicken marinated in a flavorful combination of Mediterranean-inspired ingredients like olives, capers, prunes, and herbs, creating a unique blend of sweet and savory flavors. This dish is perfect for a special dinner or entertaining guests, as it can be prepared ahead of time and has a delightful complexity of tastes. Here’s how to make Chicken Marbella at home.


  • 4-6 chicken breasts or thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Optional Garnishes:

  • Toasted almonds or pine nuts
  • Lemon wedges


1. Marinate the Chicken:

  1. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine chicken pieces with minced garlic, dried oregano, red wine vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, white wine, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well to coat the chicken evenly. Cover or seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

2. Prepare for Baking:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Arrange marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade in a baking dish, ensuring they are in a single layer.

3. Add Flavorful Ingredients:

  1. Scatter pitted prunes, green olives, black olives, and drained capers around the chicken pieces in the baking dish.

4. Bake the Chicken Marbella:

  1. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  2. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, allowing the chicken to brown slightly.

5. Serve:

  1. Transfer Chicken Marbella to a serving platter or individual plates.
  2. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and optional toasted almonds or pine nuts.
  3. Serve hot, accompanied by lemon wedges if desired.

6. Optional Serving Suggestions:

  • Chicken Marbella pairs well with couscous, rice, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • Enjoy with a glass of white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, to complement the flavors of the dish.

7. Tips:

  • For a richer sauce, spoon some of the pan juices over the chicken when serving.
  • Leftover Chicken Marbella can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave before serving.


Chicken Marbella is a delightful dish that combines tender chicken with Mediterranean-inspired flavors of prunes, olives, capers, and herbs, all cooked together in a flavorful marinade. This recipe is perfect for both casual dinners and special occasions, offering a unique blend of sweet and savory tastes that is sure to impress your guests. Enjoy the rich flavors and aromatic appeal of Chicken Marbella with its vibrant garnishes for a memorable dining experience.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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