So I made this recipe once. And I made it again. And it’s safe to say this one will go down in the record books as one of my favorite chicken recipes of all time. It’s called Chicken Marbella and it’s seriously amazing. How could something not taste amazing that’s marinated and cooked in a whole head of garlic, white wine, capers, olives, red wine vinegar, plums and various other delights?  The taste is so, so good and completely unique. Trust me on this. Salty and briny from the olives and capers, sweet from the prunes and perfect on a bed of rice or couscous to suck up all that liquidly goodness. I found myself eating cold olives out of the leftover pan tonight when I got home from work. No fork. Just my fingers and they were so freaking good.

Sadly, I can’t claim this recipe as my own but who cares! It’s too good not to share. I found this recipe in a cookbook I ordered on the recommendation of a co-worker called The Silver Palate Cookbook. I got the 25th Anniversary edition in full color (What can I say, I can’t deal with cookbooks that don’t include photos). The Silver Palate was a small takeout shop that opened in NYC in 1977 offering gourmet fare for home cooks in need of a little help in the kitchen department. This cookbook features some of their beloved recipes over the years. Chicken Marbella was the first main-course dish offered at their shop and I can totally see why.


This recipe does require marinating overnight which is perfect. It’s a WONDERFUL dish for entertaining (just double the recipe) or even during a weeknight. If you marinate it the night before, all you have to do is throw everything together and when ready to bake, just put in a baking dish and you are all set. It’s really easy.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
  • 1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and finely diced or crushed
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • coarse salt and finely ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh italian flat-leaf parsley

Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add in your chicken and give everything a good stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. I often will give everything in the bowl a couple more stirs before I’m ready to bake.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a baking dish. If doubling the recipe, you may need two dishes. Spoon the marinade over your chicken, sprinkle the chicken with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around everything like below.


Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices 50 minutes to 1 hour.

When done, transfer to a serving plate with a slotted spoon and moisten with a few large spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle with parsley. Or, in my case just take whatever you want out of the pan and place on a plate over a bed of rice or desired sides. Make sure to get some of the olives and prunes, yum! Who knew olives and prunes go so well together! Speaking of, I’m heading to the fridge right now for leftovers. Actual leftovers. Not sneaking bites of cold leftover olives even though I’m quite sure I could be totally satisfied with that too ;)


That’s it. Pretty easy right? So worth it. Try it and let me know how you like it! Enjoy!


7 thoughts

  1. Say salty brine and I am immediately all in…..This is an amazing way to “spice” up chicken dinner. So, so, so delicious!! Can’t wait to make it myself :)


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