When I first made this sumptuous chicken dish, it was just for my husband and myself.  What was I thinking?  I like to spoil him every so often, but I mean come on, this was a lot of work for just the two of us?  So I set out to make Chicken Marbella again as the main course for an evening with friends.  I can’t tell you how much they all enjoyed it, it was definitely a crowd pleaser.

The chicken is marinated in a combination of garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, white wine, parsley etc.  It’s a fusion of flavors that bursts in your mouth.

I marinated all the ingredients overnight which rendered a moist and tender crispy skin.  The marinade produced a wonderful sweet and savory sauce with Mediterranean inspired flavors.  Then to top it all, it marinates in a cup of white wine overnight?  What’s not to love?  The color of the green olives and the dark prunes, and capers also make for a very attractive presentation.

Chicken Marbella

  • Servings: 5-8
  • Print


  • 2 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on
  • cloves from a head of garlic, peeled and finely pureéd
  • 2 tablespoon 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 Spanish green olives, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped


  1. Marinate the chicken.  In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, white wine and bay leaves.  Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade.  Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight.
  2. Place chicken in baking pan, top with marinade and brown sugar.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Arrange chicken in a single layer in the pan.
  3. Bake until done.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with the pan juices.  Chicken is done when a sharp knife inserted into the thigh pieces, at their thickest point, run clear.
  4. 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 remaining juices in a gravy boat.

Recipe Source: The Silver Palate Cookbook with a few modifications

33 Replies to “Chicken Marbella”

  1. Loretta,
    So many yummy layers of flavor going in this dish! And by marinating the chicken, the flavors must all seep in and the chicken must be so tender….can you tell I am drooling here 🙂
    Your photos are amazing as always. It shows the chicken roasted perfectly.I especially liked the cover photo with the blue of the platter and the colorful peppers!
    Well done, my friend! And how lucky are the guests!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandhya. It was the first time I had tried the dish with company. It really does have oodles of flavor and made for a nice presentation too with the olives and prunes, not to mention quite healthy too 🙂 Thanks for your sweet comments as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree about the fabulous flavor and presentation of this dish.It is perfect for parties. Your friends must have loved it!


    1. Thanks Liz. Yes, you and me both with the Moroccan cuisine and the tagines. Love the spices used and yes, you’re right this had some Mediterranean flavors seeping through the dish as well. Fusion flavors are always a match made in heaven.


  2. This is synchronicity at its finest, Loretta! A good friend of mine was telling me that she ate this dish just the other day, and how much she loved it! I have a note on my fridge to make it this week, and have been looking around for a good recipe! Well, here it is, thanks to you! I can’t wait…. thanks so much 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed a dish full of depths of flavors oozing from everywhere. I definitely think the marination overnight helped a great deal. I’d be curious to see how yours turned out. The Silver Palate is a great cookbook, and I just heard that this is the dish that made it so famous. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks amazing Loretta. I can only imagine the salty smoothness that the capers and olives add and the subtle rich sweetness from the prunes. I really wish that I was the one that was presented with this loveliness, and I am sure your friends appreciate the kind hostess you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Julie, so kind. Definitely a dish I’ll be repeating again for company. It has such a blend of flavors. Loved the sweetness of the prunes, not to mention how healthy the entire dish was. Visit me sometime, and we can have a gastronomical feast 🙂 You bring the vino 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not getting emails about your new posts (this one) or on my reader. I’ll have to look into it. Sounds like a wonderful dish to serve a crowd of family or friends. It’s great to find a recipe that everyone enjoys. Prunes, olives and capers – that’s a dish packed full of flavor!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judi, you’re right, so much flavor. Didn’t you have an issue with my posts before? I seem to recall that. That’s really odd. Having said that though, my latest post is not showing up on the Reader. I’ve just sent a note to WP to ask why I don’t see it. It’s happened about 3 other times before…….they eventually fix it, but not before I’ve alerted them.


      1. Now that IS interesting Judi…I don’t see my cauliflower post today on my Reader at all, so I have the WP guys working on it. I’m glad you can see it, so it must be ok?


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