Chicken Marbella

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This chicken dish, made famous by the beloved Silver Palate Cookbook, is unfailingly tender and flavorful.

Chicken marbella 7

Chicken Marbella is probably the most famous dish to come out of the beloved Silver Palate Cookbook by Julie Rosso and the late Sheila Lukins. I grew up eating it…in fact, my mother still makes it on special occasions. I almost didn’t post the recipe because I figured most of you already had it, but then it occurred to me that there might be a whole new generation of cooks that didn’t. After all, the cookbook was published in 1982. I don’t know about you but I was only 9 years old!

Chicken marbella 15

So, what makes Chicken Marbella so famous and special? Well, for starters, the chicken is unfailingly tender and juicy. It’s also incredibly flavorful, thanks to a long marinade in garlic and herbs and a savory-sweet gravy that, I swear, is good enough to drink. But more than anything, it’s the combination of deep purple prunes, briny capers and meaty green olives that makes it so spectacular.

What you’ll need to make chicken marbella

Chicken marbella 12

How to make chicken marbella

It’s also incredibly easy to make. Most of the preparation is done the day before…You simply rub the chicken with the marinade, toss in some capers, olives, and prunes, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The next day, you douse it with white wine, sprinkle some brown sugar over top, and bake it. That’s really all there is to it.

Chicken marbella 11

If you don’t have the Silver Palate Cookbook, a 25th-anniversary edition complete with photos was published a few years ago. The recipes are as relevant today as they were many years ago…in fact, my mother still keeps her original copy by the stove, with the Chicken Marbella page dog-eared, tattered and scribbled on.

Chicken marbella 14

Below you’ll find the recipe as it was originally printed but with our notes and hints in parenthesis. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have over the years.

Chicken marbella 13

You may also like

 

Chicken Marbella

This chicken dish, made famous by the beloved Silver Palate Cookbook, is unfailingly tender and flavorful.

Servings: 5-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cut-up chickens, 2-1/2 pounds each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1/2 head garlic, peeled and finely puréed (8 cloves, minced)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 cup Spanish green olives
  • 1/4 cup capers, with a bit of juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade (use your hands to rub marinade all over and especially under the skin). Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest point, yield clear yellow juice (not pink).
  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat. (Alternatively, you can brown the skin and de-fat the gravy before serving. Here's how: When the chicken is done, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter, then pour the gravy into a medium bowl and let the fat settle at the top. In the meantime, place the chicken back in baking dishes and broil for a few minutes to brown the skin. While chicken is browning, de-fat the gravy. Transfer chicken pieces back to serving platter and pour some of the gravy over top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.) Serve hot or room temperature.
  6. Note: You can substitute all white or dark meat depending on what your family likes. I've also seen appetizer versions made entirely with small drumsticks and wings.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 998
  • Fat: 67 g
  • Saturated fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 71 g
  • Sodium: 482 mg
  • Cholesterol: 283 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • I used just bone-in thighs. When I opened my jar of oregano, I only had about 1.5 T so added one t of thyme. I used the left over red wine vinegar from the pickled onions I keep in the fridge. Next time, I’d probably add a little crushed red pepper, but that’s just us.

    I’m 57 and had never heard of this recipe. A lot of us from my generation, who had working mothers, grew up on Hamburger Helper. I spent most of my 20’s eating as inexpensively as possible (lots of lentil soup) and didn’t really cook more than necessary until my 30’s. Thanks for including it.

    • — Stacy R on October 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • What a delightful dish…everyone loved it. Lots of flavour and makes a great company dish. Will be making this time and time again.

    • — Rosalind Grant on September 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Could I puree the capers? Many in my family say they “don’t like” capers although they’ve never tried them. So puree? Or, is there an alternative?
    Thanks,
    Lauren

    • — Lauren Margolin on September 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, you can just omit the capers. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on September 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • I love this dish! Just wondering if I can marinate the chicken in a 9×13 pan, then put the whole thing in the oven when it’s time to bake? Saves me a dish – and a step.

    • — beverley abel on July 4, 2019
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 4, 2019
      • Reply
  • Jenn!
    It’s Saturday morning and my chicken has been marinating in the fridge since last night for a dinner party tonight. Our guests cancelled this morning due to illness and I want to know if I can FREEZE the chicken (with all the olives, etc.) and then thaw it out for later use? Thanks for a (hopefully) quick response:)

    • — Jennifer on May 4, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, Yep, that’s fine 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2019
      • Reply
  • Dear Jenn,

    I want to make Chicken Marbella and don’t have white wine. Can I substitute chicken broth for the wine?

    Sincerely,
    Stephanie Peskin

    • — Stephanie Peskin on April 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, The wine adds a lot of flavor to this dish, so I think it’s worth getting if you can. That said, chicken broth will work. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • Will make chicken Marbella.But as you said a whole new generation with this recipe.I must tell you I am from the old generation and never saw this recipe .
    New or old love your recipes .

    • — Carolyn O’Connell on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • This recipe is excellent. I actually do have the Silver Palate Cook Book, but prefer to use your recipe because it halves the quantities, which is better for the smaller number of people that I typically invite. Also I like the additional tips that you give (e.g. the final broiling to darken the skin). The only change I make is to double the marinade and the white wine so I have extra sauce. Whenever I serve this, I am always asked for the recipe.

    • — Tony on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn-
    I want to make this for baby shower using drumsticks (appetizer) thinking 10 pounds of chicken to feed around 30-40 people for appetizer. Assuming I’ll have to adjust my cooking time. Any advice for length of cooking time? Thanks! I always get nervous cooking poultry 😬

    My family had this for dinner last night! Perfectly divine 😀

    • — Jennifer on February 2, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, Actually, I don’t think you’ll need to adjust the timing because you’re using drumsticks, but because you’re going to be baking about twice the amount, it may take a bit longer for that amount to cook. I’d start checking them at about 55 minutes.

      • — Jenn on February 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • This is excellent and so easy to throw together! I used bone-in, skin on chicken thighs and they were very moist and loaded with flavor. The briny olives and capers add saltiness, which balances the sweetness from the brown sugar and prunes. The prunes didn’t fall apart. The only change I made to the recipe was to reduce the brown sugar to 1/3 cup and use less salt and pepper. I was skeptical about using 2 1/4 tsp of salt. It seemed excessive since the olives and capers are salty. In a January/14 review Jenn had noted that she used 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, which is less than the recipe calls for. The chicken was done in 45 minutes. I removed the thighs, olives, prunes and capers to a foil lined baking pan and browned them under the broiler before drizzling with some of the juices and sprinkling with parsley.

    • — Sadie on January 14, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, In your review dated Jan. 10/14, you noted that you like your food well-seasoned so would use about 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the marinade. Those measures are very different from the 2 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper that are listed here in the recipe. Could you please verify which is correct? The capers and olives are salty, and adding an additional 2 1/4 teaspoons of salt seems excessive. Thanks.

    • — Sadie on January 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Sadie, I’m sorry for the confusion! When I originally added the recipe to my blog, I didn’t specify the amount of salt and pepper that should be used but rather indicated that they should be added to taste. I’ve updated the recipe to make it more clear (and if you’re concerned about it being too salty with the capers and olives, feel free to cut back on the salt and add more to taste before serving if necessary). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2019
      • Reply
  • Made this for 40+ for Christmas dinner. Used boneless thighs and breasts. Reheated nicely. This is a winner! Everyone loved!

    • — floydandmyrna on January 4, 2019
    • Reply
  • Can you marinade this for two days before cooking?

    • — Mary on December 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Mary. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2018
      • Reply
  • The only change I made was using boneless chicken and it was still juicy and delicious. Definitely a recipe to make again. The clear and concise directions made the recipe easy to follow.

    • — Olivia on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • All i can tell you is you are the best. I’ve tested a lot of your recipes. They’re all perfectly good! I’m not very sure if this is stupid question. Can i use dates instead of prunes for chicken Marbela? Im just being lazy go back out. Thank you for advance

    • — Ludi on November 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Ludi, I think dates would work. And glad you like the recipes. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn, Plan to make the recipe this weekend. Reading your reviews several people mentioned re heating which would be perfect for me. I always cook and serve. What is the best way to re heat this dish ? Cover with foil, what temperature and for how long ???
    Canada loves your recipes!
    Great thank you.
    Yvonne

    • — Yvonne Adams on September 7, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Yvonne, Yes I’d cover with foil and reheat in a 300°F oven til warmed through (I’m guessing about 30 min).

      • — Jenn on September 8, 2018
      • Reply
  • HI Jenn,
    This looks great. I am cooking for about 40 people (seder) and am thinking of making this as one of three entrees (your onion braised brisket being one of them). How much of this should I make? A Triple Recipe? More? Also, will this freeze?

    • — Steve G on March 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Steve, it depends upon how much other food you will have, but if you will have two additional main dishes, tripling this should be enough. And yes, this freezes well. Enjoy your holiday!

      • — Jenn on March 16, 2018
      • Reply
  • This is one of my very favorite recipes. I love it as is, or sometimes I use actual wine, red or white, but most of the time white and a little apple cider vinegar. The juice, or gravy of this dish is divine. One of the things I like best is that the plums (prunes) rehydrate during cooking, and they are delicious! So, I usually add a little extra chopped prunes. I think I may even be addicted to this. It is really easy. I have brought it to many events and get togethers.

    • — Julie Chambers on March 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • I will be using thighs with skin on. Is it
    best to cook boneless, or, with bones in??
    thank you

    • — Judy Appel on February 9, 2018
    • Reply
    • I’d recommend bone-in. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 9, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Happy New Year! I was going to make this for tomorrow with chicken thighs. I was going to add apricots in addition to prunes as I had it recently and it was good. Do I still need to add 1 cup of sugar at end? Looking forward to your cookbook!

    • — jen on December 31, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Jen, I’d still add the sugar but you can cut back a little, if you’d like. Happy New Year!

      • — Jenn on December 31, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I love all your recipes and can’t wait for your cookbook to come out. I am hosting a dinner for about 20 people. Would it be best to cook the Chicken Marbella the day before, the day of and keep the chicken warm while other chicken is baking or bake all at once? If I cook all at one time, how long should I bake the chicken? Thanks!

    • Hi Cathy, so glad you like the recipes! If you have enough room in your baking dish(es) and oven to cook all the chicken at the same time, I would recommend that. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • This sounds scrumptious! I plan to make it for 8-10 people. Should all the ingredients be doubled? I’m thinking parmesan orzo and a green salad as accompaniments.
    Sound okay?

    • Sounds like a delicious meal! And I would either make 1 1/2 or 2 times the recipe. If you double it, you’ll likely have some (yummy) leftovers.

  • I made this last night for dinner. It was so good and so easy to prepare. My husband wasn’t sure he’d like it, but he ended up loving it and asking for more! Thanks for another winner Jenn!

  • Excellent dish for Girls Night Out Dinner Party.

    I made this last night. My changes based on reviews were: 1. I used only fresh herbs including oregano, marjoram and thyme in the marinade. it was so flavorful. 2. I used bone and skin on organic chicken breast (split in half), thighs and drumsticks and baked on Convection roast for 50 minutes. 3. i served with brown and wild rice and Autumn salad . I had rave reviews. And it is a great made in advance dish that is so pretty to serve also.

  • Chicken Marbella is a huge hit at our house! At first the kids were like, “prunes and olives??” but now this dish is even requested on birthdays. I follow the recipe pretty much as is except I have never basted the chicken and it turns out perfect every time. Some days the chicken gets marinated overnight but mostly just for a day. Serve with rice and veg, always a happy family around the table.

  • Can I used chicken stock in place of the white wine? Thank you.

    • Yes- hope you enjoy!

  • Can I make this with boneless chicken breasts???

    • Hi Vicki, I don’t recommend breasts for this recipe; if you really want to use breasts, I suggest this recipe instead.

  • I am planning to make this for this Christmas for a party of 20. Can I make this a day ahead and reheat?

    • Yes, definitely. Enjoy!

  • Ok to serve with pickled brisket, roasted potatoes, etc Large rosh hashana dinner. Plan to make ahead and freeze, will make extra marinade when i reheat so it heats up moist. Does this make sense?

    • Hi Wendy, Yes, I think all of that could work together. Hope you have a great holiday!

  • My Italian prune plums are ready to pick, can I substitute then for the dried prunes?

    • Hi Beth, I think that’ll work. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it that way.

  • I’m having 6 women friends to my lake house for a few days. I’m looking through your recipes and setting up my menus. Starting off with crustless broccoli quiche for breakfast.
    For supper I’m thinking of this chicken Marbella and Julia Turshein’s lasagna.
    A) would you pair these two?
    B) can they both be made day ahead and reheated?
    I’ll be doing asparagus and possibly the roasted beet salad … What do you think?

    • Hi Louise, What a fun weekend that sounds like! If you’re looking for two different dinner options, I think those two are great choices (and yes they can both be made ahead of time and reheated) but I wouldn’t serve them together on the same plate. With the Chicken Marbella, I’d serve rice or orzo and asparagus on the side. With the lasagna, I’d serve a big salad and bread. Hope that helps!

  • Jenn – my chicken Marbella is marinating but plans have changed, so need to freeze the dish. Please advise whether to freeze raw or cook it first. thank you.

    • Hi Theresa, either one will work!

  • Jen, Since I’m not a huge fan of dried oregano, is there another spice that would work well in the chicken marbella?

    • Hi Rosemary, dried thyme or basil would work here in place of the oregano. Enjoy!

  • Does the chicken have an olivey taste? I have some picky people coming and I want to make this, but don’t want it to be passed up bc of the olives!

    • No, it doesn’t; The olives and capers are balanced perfectly with the prunes to make a delicious sweet-savory gravy. I think everyone will enjoy!

  • Fantastic flavors! I followed the recipe exactly except for using the cut up chicken. I happened to have 5 frozen, boneless, skinless breasts on hand, so took a chance. Although the skin would add more flavor, I thought that these were wonderful: moist, tender, and great flavor combo. I don’t typically care for olives or capers, but when you add all of these ingredients together, there’s an amazing synergy. Thanks for including this recipe on your site!

  • Jenn, can you please provide the nutritional information for this dish? I’m looking forward to making it. Thank you.

    • Hi Barbara, I just added them. You’ll see the numbers are pretty high; that’s primarily because of the skin on the chicken (but it is delicious)!

  • For this Chicken Marbella, do I have to leave the skin on. I never do as I won’t eat it. Will it still maintain the same flavor?

    • Hi Nancy, You don’t have to leave it on, but the skin adds so much flavor – If possible, I would suggest cooking the chicken with the skin on and removing it before serving.

  • Hi Jenn,
    My husband said this was the best chicken he’s ever had. He’s 62 so that’s a lot of chicken years! He said it was restaurant quality so he hit the nail on the head (it is restaurant quality!) I can’t get over how easy it was. I used two chicken breasts with bones and skin which produced almost no sauce. I’m going to make it again for friends next week, any suggestions on how to get more gravy/sauce? I’ll probably make 4 of the same breasts for them. Thanks so much for this recipe, can’t wait to try more as I’m new to your blog. Love it!

    • Hi Carol, so glad you enjoyed the chicken! Definitely sounds strange, though, that there wasn’t much gravy as this generally has quite a bit. Are you sure you measured everything correctly?

      • My husband just had the leftovers for lunch. He still raved.
        Yes, I measured everything to the recipe. Even added more wine at around 35 minutes. Maybe it was because I only used one split breast? Your recipe has 2.5 lbs per pan, all the chicken parts. It was still fantastic though. Maybe I should double up on the marinade, although maybe not the garlic? I wish I had taken a picture right out of the oven. Thanks.

  • Hi Jenn, this is such an easy and delicious dish! Thanks so much for the recipe! If I only have dark brown sugar on hand, can this be substituted for light? And if so, would the amount be the same?

    • Hi Jane – Yes and yes 🙂

  • I added the wine to the marinade by mistake will it still work?

    • Yes, Paula – don’t worry about it!

  • Where do you find 2.5lb chickens? I’m at Safeway and the lightest chicken they have us 5lbs.

    • Hi Seth, The recipe calls for cut-up chickens. Sorry that wasn’t clear – I’ll update the recipe to clarify.

      • Ah, thanks, that makes a lot more sense. Marinating now!

  • Can you use boneless chicken breasts?

    Thanks,
    Erin

    • Hi Erin, I don’t recommend boneless breasts for this recipe. Sorry!

  • I added the brown sugar by mistake to the marinade is that Ok or do I need to start over?

    • Not necessary– it will still work. Hope you enjoy!

  • PS: Forgot to mention I am making this tonight!!!! I have never had anything on your site, including the Marbella, that didn’t turn out perfect. But these giant chicken breasts have me a bit concerned.

  • I couldn’t fine “normal” size chicken breasts. These are very large. They have been marinating overnight and I have turned them a few times. It now looks like there is very little of the marinade in the dish. My concern is that there won’t be enough to add to pan with wine and brown sugar. Six breasts. Thank you!

    • Hi Pam, I think it will probably be fine but if you want to play it safe you can make more of the marinade (maybe a half recipe) and add it to the pan (that way, you’ll have plenty of sauce too). Hope you enjoy it!

      • You are the best! At quick replies AND fabulous recipes. Many thanks!

  • This dish is fabulous!! I have made this almost a dozen times in the last year & a half. My kids ask for it by name and company always raves about it. Super easy but taste like you are a top chef! Thank you Jenn, this recipe is going in our family recipe book, a keeper!

  • I was introduced to this dish about 10 years ago while working at a little store with gourmet takeout. Everyone just loved it…including me. I can’t believe that I completely forgot about it! Thanks for the reminder and the recipe. It’s just as fabulous as I remember it to be. Happy Holidays, Jenn!

  • I’m planning on making this so would like to know if you achieved the beautiful brown skin in the photo from baking alone or was it broiled? My oven does not have a broiler so would I need to brown the skin before baking? Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Leslie, Yes, I did broil the chicken after baking it. If you’d like to achieve that same brown skin, sear them briefly after baking them in the oven. Hope you enjoy!

      • Thanks for your reply Jenn. I just read the recipe again and noticed the last paragraph which mentions the broiling. I’ll try browning after baking. BTW…your blog/website is the most user-friendly as any I’ve ever experienced! Love it!

    • Hi, I have never had to use the broiler, it always gets beautifully browned on it’s own. YUM

      • I also have never used the broiler, they brown beautifully. This makes the house smell wonderful, and reheated is just as good the next day.

  • Seriously amazing. I made this for an extended family dinner and it could not have been easier or more delicious. As the mother of a 1 year old I have minimal time to cook dinner. I was able to prep this at night in about 15 minutes and then all I had to do was pop it in the oven the next night. Rave reviews from the whole crowd. I served it with whole wheat couscous and a green salad. Will definitely keep this in the rotation.

  • Yikes!! Didn’t read properly and I added the brown sugar and wine to the marinade. Do I need to start over or is it ok? Thanks!

    • It’s fine Elizabeth – no need to start over. Enjoy!

  • Can you eliminate the Capers?

    • Sure, that would be fine.

  • I’m always looking for new flavor combinations and this recipe hit the criteria. When I read the ingredients prunes, green olives, caper, garlic, my first thoughts were “yuck, ewww, hmmmm, interesting.” My curiosity got the better of me and I had to make it. It was a flavor explosion! the prunes were delicious sweet bombs in the savory sauce from the olives, garlic and capers. The chicken was moist and delicious. I don’t like olives, at all and couldn’t chew and swallow them but the flavor they added to the meal was undeniable. This is a keeper and sharing recipe.

  • Can this be made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts? If so , any changes in quantities or ingredients or in cooking time? I saw your previous comment about the skin adding flavor, but boneless, skinless is so much easier to manage for guests at a dinner party!

    • Hi Laurie, The recipe really won’t work with boneless breasts – sorry! But you might try this recipe on Epicurious, which is similar. Hope that helps!

  • This is wonderful!! Tried it last night and we both loved it. Can’t wait until we have the leftovers. Thank you for another outstanding recipe. Looking forward to your cookbook.

  • Love both you and your website..can hardly wait for to purchase an autographed (I hope) copy of your cookbook. My question, Can I bake the day before and just reheat as I would love to serve this to company, but will be walking in the door just a short time before them?. If so, reheat at what temperature and for how long>

    • Thanks for the nice words Carol! And, it’s fine to make this ahead, just reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven until heated through.

  • I’m so glad you posted this recipe. I, too, made it many times using the Silver Palate Cookbook. It’s been so many years I forgot all about it. I’m going to make it this weekend. Can’t wait!

  • Hi ,
    i was wondering can we make this recipe with no skin chicken thighs?
    Your recipes are wonderful, thank you for sharing,
    Nathalie

    • Hi Nathalie, you can use skinless chicken thighs, but the skin adds so much flavor – If possible, I would suggest cooking the chicken with the skin on and removing it before serving.

  • Hi Jen,
    I’m making this for a crowd on Friday and wanted to know if a large aluminum pan will work the same as baking dishes that you use. I just want to make sure there wouldn’t be any chemical reaction letting the chicken parts marinate in the foil.
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Abbie, I don’t think there should be any problem with marinating the chicken in the aluminum pan, but just to be safe, you could use large ziplock bags instead. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • Chicken Marbella…. Delicious! Made with orzo… Who knew chicken, prunes, capers and olives combined could taste so wonderful!!!

  • I’m not a wine drinker, so I don’t know what would work best in the recipe. Please give a few suggestions for a good wine to use. Thank you!

    • Hi Paula, Any inexpensive white wine would be perfectly fine to use. Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio are good options. Hope you enjoy!

  • I just realized that the chicken is supposed to marinate overnight and I only have about 4-5 hours for marinating time. Should I still make it? Or wait until another time when I can give it the full overnight marinade? Thanks!

    • It will still be tasty Pam, but will just absorb a little less of the flavors.

      • Thank you, Jenn! I decided to wait until later this week because I have never made this and, from all the rave reviews, it is clearly worth the overnight marinating time.

        • I made this dish starting in the morning and marinating only for 6 hours. It was still fantastic.

  • My questions are about substituting ingredients.

    I hate Olives. I use olive oil all the time but cannot stand the taste of olives.

    My wife is very sensitive to spices and I would need to remove or greatly reduce the garlic.

    Any suggestions on a substitute for these two ingredients.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rhae

    • Hi Rhae, It’s fine to just omit the olives. As for the garlic, it does add wonderful flavor so I wouldn’t omit it entirely — but I think it’s fine to reduce it. You could also add a tablespoon of minced shallots to amp up the flavor a bit.

  • I have a sulfite allergy. I’m not sure what to substitute for the red wine vinegar. What would be best. I will already have to substitute chicken broth for the white wine for the same reason. I’m dying to try this recipe.

    • Hi Christina, perhaps you could try brown or white rice vinegar. I would love to hear how it turns out if you make it!

  • Is there any substitute for sugar other than substitute faux sugar.

    All your recipes are wonderful but many include sugar. I usually omit but feel I’m missing out on the overall flavor.

    • Hi Gen, you could get away with using honey or agave nectar here. (If you go with honey, use a little less than 1/2 cup as honey is a bit sweeter tasting than sugar.) I’d love to know how it turns out if you prepare it this way!

  • I first tasted Chicken Marbella when I met my husband about 10 years ago. My MIL makes this for many of the Jewish holidays, and gave me the recipe when we got married. Super easy, always tasty, and the longer it marinates, the better it gets! I didn’t realize the cookbook had been re-released. I’ll have to get a copy for myself. My mother-in-law will be thrilled 😉

  • Just made this last night and it is delicious! I used boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken pieces. So easy to put together. Making copies of this recipe for my daughters and will definitely make this again!

  • I first had Chicken Marbella at a baby shower about 23 years ago. It just knocked my socks off it was so good. I begged (literally!) for the recipe and have been making it ever since. It is my go to meal for special company and get asked for the recipe often. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and double the amount of prunes and olives. It tastes even better as leftovers. I usually just serve it over plain, brown basmati rice along with a big green salad. This recipe deserves at least 10 stars!!

  • This was amazing good. I used boneless/skinless breasts and thighs. Turned out so juicy and the sauce had a rich satisfying flavor. It’s been moved into regular rotation.

  • What is the accompaniment for this chicken?

    • Hi Adelaide, I don’t suggest anything within the recipe but this would be delicious with French Green Beans with Shallots and a grain or roasted potato. Feel free to check out the sides on my site for some inspiration.

  • Hi,
    I really want to try this dish for Christmas. I wanted to know if instead of cooking in oven can we cook it in air fryer instead? and if yes, then what should be suggested time and temperature for air fryer?
    Many thanks in advance

    • Hi Somya, I’m not very familiar with an air fryer, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I think this is really best from the oven.

      • Hi,
        Sorry for very very late update. I finally did try it in air fryer but had to cook it in two batches. It was delicious, all my guests loved it..I have sent this recipe to my in laws now 🙂 Thank u soo much for awesome recipe.

        • So glad to hear it came out well in the air fryer- thanks for the update Somya!

  • In the photo the big green olives look whole and so do the prunes. Do u actually chop them up when u make it? Really like this recipe…making again now…I’m leaning toward chopping but need to know for future.

    • For this recipe, I leave the olives and prunes whole. Feel free to chop them though, if you prefer :).

  • Do you know if you can freeze the Marbella Chicken after you have cooked it?

    • — Shirleyann James
    • Reply
    • Hi Shirleyann, Yes, that should be fine.

  • Hello! I love this and love making it! My question is can I marinade for two days? I am making a lot of food and would love to get this out of the way. It’s easy but does take time.
    Thanks, Sherri

    • Hi Sherri, Yes that’s fine. Enjoy!

  • What do you serve with chicken marbella?

    • Hi Jill, I typically serve it with rice pilaf or mashed potatoes, and a simple green veg (like my French Green Beans with Shallots or Sauteed Asparagus & Peas)

  • What wine(s) pairs best with chicken marbella

    • Hi Al, I’d probably serve the same wine I add to the dish — but a richer white wine like Chardonnay would work, or rosé or a light bodied red like Pinot Noir or Grenache.

  • How would I prepare a half recipe of Chicken Marbella? Just use half the ingredients ? Thank you.

    • Hi Gaile, Yes, that should work.

  • Dear Jenn, can I use chicken wings and dates instead of prunes? Thank you! Sonia.

    • Hi Sonia, Yes and yes 🙂

  • Can I skip olives in this recipe? No one likes in my family.

    Also can I substitute wine for chicken broth? My husband and I do not drink or use liquor in cooking.

    • Hi Mindy, Yes and yes 🙂

  • one more question- can you add or use other dried fruits instead of prunes?

    • Yes, feel free to make substitutions 🙂

  • Hi ,
    I have 2 questions:
    How can this dish be made for a smaller group (4 people)?

    Can this dish be cooked a day or 2 in advance and reheated? If so, how do you recommend re heating it?

    • Hi Susan, I’d probably just stick to the quantity, since the recipe only serves 5-6. You could always cut it in half, but you might be short. It’s fine to make ahead, just reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven until heated through.

  • We had friends over for dinner and I made your Chicken Marbella recipe. It turned out wonderfully and we all enjoyed it. It’s going into the rotation!
    I served it with orzo mixed with roasted vegetables and salad.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • I love this dish and have made it many times. Wondering if anyone has taken it to an outdoor picnic. It will be “forks/spoons only” so I wonder if I could just cut the pieces bite sized? Perhaps better to make it with boneless breasts then? Already made the bread for dipping afterward!

  • I love chicken Marbella…I make it all the time! Yours looks great! 🙂

  • Jen, the chicken marbella recipe is wonderful, it does make quite a bit of wonderful sauce, however, a bit too much.
    what else can I do with it, soup possibly?
    definitely want to save it.
    thank you.
    Eva

    • Hi Eva, I think it would be delicious over pasta for another meal.

  • Love this recipe…my mother makes it every year. What kind of pan do you use’; more specifically, what depth? Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah, I use a standard 9 x 13-inch baking dish; it’s about 2 inches deep.

  • The Chicken Marbella is absolutely delicious! I’m making it for the second time and every ingredient is absolutely perfect for this dish!!

  • Jenn – I actually found your blog while doing an internet/pinterest search for this exact recipe 3+ years ago! One of my best friends Mom’s made this dish for me and your recipe was dead on perfect! Although not typical ingredients I cook with (prunes, olives, capers) they work wonderfully together! Love to pair with a nice rice pilaf or mashed potato to soak up the wonderful sauce. This reminds me, it’s time to make again!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I have enjoyed your recipes over the last couple of years and always look forward to seeing “what’s new”. I have a question about the Chicken Marbella. Since it will seem to have some very distinctive flavors, what side dish/dishes do you recommend to go along with it?
    Thank you.
    Penny

    • Hi Penny, Thank you! I always serve this dish with a simple rice pilaf and green beans (see my French green bean recipe on the site). Hope that helps!

  • Jenn, this recipe looks so very interesting. I’ve got a pretty good sense of how ingredients combined will taste, but I need specifics…i.e. pitted prunes (dried or canned?), “a bit of caper juice”..(how much?), “Spanish olives” (pitted?, from a jar or an olive bar?, pimentos or none?.

    Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Cheryl, Sure — you need dried prunes, about 1 tablespoon caper juice and pitted Spanish or Greek green olives from an olive bar (no pimentos). Hope that helps!

  • Can these recipe be made with chicken thighs instead of a whole cut up chicken?

    • Hi Janet, Absolutely; it will be even better.

      • Thanks Jenn. How many pounds of chicken thighs would you use (I’m assuming you recommend getting bone in/skin-on thighs, though I don’t like skin)?

        • You’ll need 4-5 pounds, or 12-14 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. I would definitely cook the chicken with the skin on, as it adds a lot of flavor, but it’s fine to remove it before serving.

  • Yesterday I was preparing the marinade for FOUR chickens (per the Silver Palatte’s original recipe) for a party I was going to. Just as I was about to toss the chicken with the ingredients I learned that the party – scheduled for the following day – had been postponed for a week. Two questions: (1) can I freeze the marinade? I hate to waste it and hope I can just thaw it, then toss with the olives and prunes, meat etc..next week; (2) I froze the chicken parts. What’s the best way to defrost them? I appreciate your input. P.S.: should I leave chicken skins on or off?

    • Hi Rebecca, Yes, you can freeze the marinade. I would start defrosting the chicken in the fridge a day or two before you need to marinade it; it will take a while to thaw. As for the skin, I would definitely leave it on; it will add flavor and keep the meat from drying out during the cooking process. You can always remove it before serving if you like. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you for taking the time to respond and help me…I’m grateful.

  • Loved the chicken marbella recipe but when I doubled the amount of capers quarter to half a cup I liked it even better, chopped celery leaves worked well also, we added sliced orange kumeras (sweet potatoes) to the mixture before cooking about 500g that allowed them to absorb the magnificent flavours within the Marbella: Thank you for providing such a very lovely exquisitely flavoured easy chicken dish, we are very grateful.
    Cheers

  • I’m a 48 y/o man from the Deep South that has been eating chicken cooked in every imaginable way since I’ve had teeth. I had never heard of chicken Marbella, but when I read the recipe, I knew I had to try it. It was incredible! I highly recommend this recipe!!

  • Jenn,

    Can you tell me a good white wine to use? I’ve always been confused when a recipe calls for white wine, for cooking. Also, do you have a recipe for prime rib and an old fashioned bread pudding? I’ve tried many of your recipes and they have all been a hit!

    Kelly 🙂

    • Hi Kelly, Any inexpensive white wine that you would drink would be perfectly fine to use — honestly, whatever you have around. Just stay away from anything labeled “cooking wine.” I do have a wonderful apple rum raisin bread pudding on the site but not a prime rib – I will work on it 🙂

    • Hi Jen,

      I do have Silver Palate and have made this, but not for a long time, so thanks for the reminder. Also, for people asking what kind of white wine to use, I have taken many cooking classes over the years and my favorite chef taught us a long time ago to keep a bottle of vermouth (white) in our pantry to use for a white wine. Never have to worry about having to make a special trip to the store, and it works in any recipe calling for white wine.
      Thanks for all the great recipes and tips and I just saw your children for the first time and they are GORGEOUS!

  • OMG … Jen, this dish was sooo delicious! Your recipes are making me a SUPER STAR in the kitchen!
    I never thought mixing olives, prunes,capers, brown sugar & red wine vinegar would taste so wonderful!
    Thanks again for terrific recipes!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Patti, but I can’t take the credit. This one is straight from The Silver Palate Cookbook 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing. I have been looking everywhere for this recipe, I know I packed it away somewhere but could not find it. Best chicken ever.

  • How much salt and pepper did you add? I think it says to taste?

    • Hi Karen, I like my food well-seasoned so I would use about 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

  • I was nervous about making this dish but the step-by-step guide & pictures made it an easy task & my guests enjoyed it so much.
    The chicken is tender, juicy & flavourful even after being reheated the next day.
    Thanks so much Jenn, your site has truly inspired me & is my go-to whenever I decide to try something new 🙂
    Cheers!

  • I have made this recipe several times. I usually use a combo of thighs and split breasts so that there is some skin on each piece. This recipe is absolutely amazing! I tried it the first time just because of the weird combo of ingredients…I mean who would think olives, capers and prunes??? Preparation takes some time but do it the day before. The flavors are wonderful and the sauce/broth definately needs to go over mashed potatoes or sopped up with bread or drank straight up! Great taste, great recipe. Wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Just using boneless chicken breasts. How would I change the recipe? How many pounds would I need for 10 people? Can you have too much sauce and can you use white wine that has been frozen?

  • …or use whichever pieces are your favorites. if you like just thighs (or breasts), that’s fine, too.

  • How does one cut the chicken up? Breasts,thighs and drumsticks?
    Marjory

    • Hi Marjory, yes that’s correct.

  • Hi Kim… I suggested (above) serving Israeli couscous with dried fruits and nuts…. adds a delicious element, and can also be served at room temp on a warm day or picnic. My recommendation…. use much less brown sugar than the recipe calls for….I just lightly sprinkle the pieces with sugar which is completely sufficient. Otherwise way too sweet for my family and friends. Enjoy!

  • thanks, Jenn! i am serving w/ the rice and a simple salad (couldn’t find good h. verts)…i did make a mistake and added the wine to the marinade…hope it doesn’t ruin it w/ the vinegar in there too…will add some more wine (i doubled the recipe) and the brown sugar when i bake this afternoon…thanks!!

  • What do you serve as side dishes with Chicken Marbella?

    • Hi Tracy, It’s delicious with couscous or rice, and a simple steamed green vegetable like haricots verts.

      • Hi,

        Someone made this for my family years ago, and I am going to attempt to make it for a friend’s family. I would love to know what to serve with it? Rice pilaf and a salad? another vege like a broccoli casserole and also corn? just a vege and some good bread? would love to know what others have served along side this dish…thanks! (p.s. if the dish has white wine in it, i should serve it with the same white wine, right?)

        • Hi Kim, I always serve it with rice pilaf or roasted potatoes, and steamed haricots verts with a little olive oil, butter and salt. The sauce is so flavorful, you don’t want too many competing flavors. The dish is a little on the brown side, so it’s nice to have a pop of color on the plate. The same white wine would be great but any white wine would do.

  • The best recipe for a large crowd, when our family gets together, all 31 of us, everyone expects me to cook this recipe. The best combination of flavors, best left overs ever !! I make double and triple recipe !! I usually marinade it overnight.

  • A favorite from the Silver Palate Cookbook. Nice to see it here

  • Cannot wait to make this! Tries at a friends house it was good but too greasy. Your recipe sounds alot better!

  • Try serving with Israeli cous cous adorned with golden raisins, currents, dried cranberries, and toasted pine nuts to continue the Mediterranean feel. Obviously, you can substitute any fruit/nut combo you enjoy. Can even use orzo instead of cous cous.

  • Everyone loves this dish and asks for the recipe. It is an easy company meal because you put everything together the night before and the next day, simply add the wine and sugar and pop it in the oven.

    • My family and I thank you multiple times during the week (yes, literally we say “Thank you Jennifer” when eating one of your delicious recipes). It is now habit when eating something delicious for my husband to ask “Is this one of Jennifer’s?” I feel like you and I are best buddies, or at least could be 🙂

      On to my question(s) – I am hosting a Passover seder and will be making a brisket (savory, but spicy with some siracha in the marinade/ sauce). I want another protein option for a couple of picky eaters and am thinking about trying out this recipe as an additional main dish option. (There will be matzo ball soup too, of course). Do you think the two will clash for those that want to eat both? I’ll likely serve with a green vegetable from your site and some sort of potato, any suggestions?

      • — Bridget on April 11, 2019
      • Reply
  • An old and trusted favorite, and believe me, it is well worth introducing to a whole new generation of cooks!

  • This is my favorite chicken dish above all others. I make it for my birthday every year. The flavors are outstanding and I love the olives, prunes, and capers contrasted with the wine and brown sugar. Really, all ingredients are probably on hand anyway, which is another reason it is so easy. I use a mix of breast and thighs (bone in, skin on,) as I love thighs and my family loves breast meat. I also scaled it down from her originally published recipe. It is a very easy, versatile dish. The leftovers are also very yummy. I love serving it with wild rice. Thank you for introducing this to all your fans, Jennifer!

  • Great dinner party recipe.

  • I made this for a dinner party and everyone raved about it! Thanks for another great and promising recipe!

  • Can you make this dish without the olives? My husband and I really don’t liked them…. thanks

    • Risa, You can definitely make it without the olives. You will love it!

  • I thought this chicken was delish! My husband, on the other hand, rated it as so so. He liked that the chicken was moist but didn’t care for its sweetness, and he’s not a prunes lover. I had it for lunch and dinner 2 days in a row and still want more! Every bite with rice, chicken, prunes, capers, olives, and Italian parsley was heavenly. Thanks so much!

  • Have you ever tried it with boneless breasts and thighs?

    • — Jennifer Hallock
    • Reply
  • Just finished making it – came out delicious! thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe 🙂 I really like the idea of using it for appys as well!

  • Taryn,

    Yes, that would be fine. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, If I only wanted to make on chicken could I half the recipe?

  • Hi Malinda, That wine is perfectly fine and don’t worry about adding the brown sugar to the marinade…it will be fine. As for the lemon bars, if you want to double the recipe, definitely make it in two separate pans, otherwise it will be way too thick. Good luck and hope you enjoy!

  • Ok its MalindaC again, Ive got my chicken marinating but, made a mistake or so, I added my brown sugar with the marinade, will this ruin it? I also need to know if this wine is ok: Robert Mondavi Winery 2007 Chardonnay? oh and I need to know if you can double the lemon bars or should I just make 2 seperate pans of it? thanks so much, I cant wait to let you know how it all taste!

  • Melinda, You can use any dry white wine (for cooking, I always use something good enough to drink but cheap). The prunes do get nice and soft but they don’t disintegrate into the sauce. Adults will love them — they add so much to the sauce — but young kids will probably not. Whenever I make this dish, I just serve my kids a portion without the prunes, olives and capers. Hope that helps! Feel free to email me with any other questions.

  • I am going to try this marbella, but i need to know a good white wine to use, like sweet or dry…please let me know, im making this for a special occasion on this sunday for my girls and their school choir! oh and im a little nervous about leaving the prunes in after it cooks, im afraid the kids might snarl, any suggestions on that, or do they cook up where you cant tell what they are? Thanks I love this sight 🙂 Malinda

  • I had never heard of Chicken Marbella but the recipe looked so unique I had to try it. The entire family thought it was wonderful and said I have to make it again and again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • I have made this recipe a million times. Some times I chop the prune and olives very tiny and other times leave them on the larger size. Now here is a fun twist. I once made it with dried apricots, golden raisins,& prunes all chopped pretty small and a varity of gourmet olives. Fallowed the recipe the same and served it with home made lavash bread and it was delicious.

  • I made this and it was fabulous! This is my girlfriend’s go-to recipe for dinner parties and I have enjoyed it many times at her house, thinking it would be far too involved and difficult to attempt in my kitchen. It was a snap and oh-so good! I had a whole cut chicken from an organic farm with the bone in and I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it – this made a fabulous dinner!! Thank you.

  • Sure this new generation will like this chicken marbella dish.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds8xyK-r65M I read many cook books but im very impressed with silver palate cookbook. This recipe is simple superb. Done a great job!!!!

  • I’m so n <3 w/Italian cooking!!!!!!!!!

  • Wow, just discovered your blog on Facebook!
    I basically LEARNED how to cook from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso, but never tried this recipe, yet! I knew it sounded familiar! I’m looking forward to more of your blog posts!

  • this looks delicious. what do you serve this with?

  • This recipe is fantastic. Thank you for sharing! I enjoy all your posts. Keep it up 🙂

  • What is the caloric count for this dish?

  • Thank you for brining this recipe to my attention. It looks amazing!

  • Let me pass on a tip from a caterer who used the sauce components of Chicken Marbella to make a mayonnaise textured spread (all the solids and adjust the liquid to the correct onsistency when pulverizing in the Cuisinart). Then he took the chicken, skinned it and put it into quarters of pita bread which had been “lathered” inside with the mayo. They were really good for a casual meal with a hearty soup.
    > And, it is an easy way to use the leftovers too.

  • I absolutely love Chicken Marbella. I was only just introduced to it about 4 years ago and I’ve made it a number of times since. That sweet and briny marinade is just beyond words!

  • Lets watch the age thing!!! I just made Chicken Marbella last month for some friends they loved it and it froze well also for guests for them another night!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  • A family favorite for years!

  • I LOVE chicken Marbella!

    I can’t wait to make this, I haven’t had any in years…

    Thanks for postin!

    Lisa
    xo

  • I love this recipe! I agree with you that there might be a whole new generation of people that need to know about this recipe. Thanks for reintroducing it!

  • This looks delicious! I think this will be a dish to be made in our new house 🙂

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.