One of the finest dishes ever to come out of The Silver Palate Cookbook, Chicken Marbella is chicken first marinated in oil, vinegar, capers, olives, prunes, and herbs, then baked with added brown sugar and white wine.
The Secret to Perfect Chicken Marbella: Prunes!
Prunes are the distinctive ingredient in this famous dish. They're actually used often in classical French cooking, and the Silver Palate recipe borrows heavily from the French traditional lapin aux pruneaux.
While prunes and capers might seem like an odd combination, when cooked together with chicken, they create a delectable sweet and sour, savory flavor.
An Easy Chicken Marbella Recipe—Great for a Party!
Chicken Marbella is a great dish for entertaining. Not only is it easy to put together without a lot of hands-on cooking time, but it's also a real crowd pleaser.
The original recipe calls for the chicken pieces to be marinated all night. We found that marinating for 2 to 3 hours worked fine.
About the Silver Palate Cookbook
What is the Silver Palate Cookbook? Published in 1982, it was written by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso, who owned the Silver Palate Gourmet Shop on the Upper Westside of Manhatten in the 1970s.
They revolutionized home cooking at the time, introducing Spanish, Moroccan, Italian, Mediterranean and Asian influences, and adding complex flavors and sophistication to homemade dishes. Unlike certain French cookbooks that were popular at the time (sorry, Julia Child!), the Silver Palate Cookbook showed people how to entertain easily at home. The dishes were approachable and doable for regular home cooks since they didn't take all day to cook.
Forty years later, it is still a well-loved classic. Just like the Chicken Marbella dish that was all the rage at dinner parties during the 1980s.
What to Serve with Chicken Marbella
We recommend a starchy side to mop up all of the delicious pan juices from cooking the chicken. But a light salad is also a lovely accompaniment for Chicken Marbella.
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Rice Pilaf
- Classic Caesar Salad
- Broccoli Rabe with Caramelized Onions
- Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Herbs and Parmesan
More Crowd-Pleasing Chicken Recipes to Make!
- Feta-Brined Roast Chicken
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Easy Chicken Pot Pie
- Classic Baked Chicken
Although the original recipe calls for 2 small chickens to be quartered, you could easily do this recipe with 5 pounds of chicken pieces, thighs and breasts.
Slightly adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook
2 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on (or 5 pounds of chicken pieces)
Cloves from 1/2 head of garlic, finely puréed
2 tablespoons dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
8 large pitted Spanish green olives, cut in half
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Marinate the chicken:
In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Prepare the chicken in one or two baking pans:
Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over the pieces evenly. Sprinkle brown sugar over the chicken and pour white wine around them.
Bake until done:
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, basting frequently with the pan juices. Chicken is done when a sharp knife inserted into the thigh pieces at their thickest point run with clear yellow juices (not pink).
Serve with pan juices:
With a slotted spoon, move the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Pour some of the pan juices over the chicken and sprinkle generously with parsley.
Serve the remaining juices in a gravy boat on the side.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 5 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||34%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||32%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||12%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|