Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella. Photo: Michael Kahn

Recipe adapted from “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins


  • 2 chickens, 3½-4 pounds each, quartered or cut into eighths
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled 
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste 
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. dried oregano, or ¼ c. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2/cup pitted prunes
  • ¼ cup pitted Spanish green olives
  • ½ cup capers, rinsed, and a drop or two of brine 
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, for garnishing


1. Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in a large bowl or jumbo zip-lock bag. 

2. Place garlic on a cutting board or in a mortar with a pestle, add 1 tsp. of salt and mash garlic until pureed. Transfer garlic to a medium bowl and add dried oregano, red wine vinegar, olive oil, prunes, green olives, capers with a drop of brine, and bay leaves. Add this mixture to bowl or bag of chicken and toss together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or seal bag and refrigerate overnight.

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3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Using one to two large shallow baking pans, arrange chicken pieces in a single layer. Evenly spoon marinade over the chicken and sprinkle each dish with the brown sugar followed by the white wine.

5. Bake chicken, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces), basting occasionally with the pan juices. When done, the chicken should ooze clear juices when pricked with a fork. 

6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a large serving platter with a lip. Place the roasting pan onto a burner and reduce mixture over high heat for three to five minutes. Transfer to a gravy separator and drizzle juices over chicken.

Makes 8-10 servings.  (Recipe can be doubled.)