Chicken Marbella – Who Knew?!

So apparently we’ve been left out of the loop. I had dinner at my friend Shira’s the other night and she impressed us all with this excellent Chicken Marbella from an apparently famous and must have cookbook: The Silver Palate.

The printed out recipe came from  Leite’s Culinaria. What a site. Check it out.

Shira was kind enough to send me home with the recipe and olives out of her own refrigerator, and I made it last night for dinner and it was delish. I made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut down the proportions. I’m thinking Martha Shem-Tov would be able to avoid all the sugar in there by substituting orange juice in. It was the first time I made it – I think I will try that next time. In any case – it’s easy and full-flavored. Thanks Shira.
The recipe below is for 10-12 servings. I cut the recipe in half and did NOT put in as much sugar (poison!) as it calls for – but I don’t trust my mathematical skills to include my version here.

I threw the chicken into a ziploc bag with the marinade in the AM, and then just pulled it out around 7pm. I think this’d go nicely with quinoa on the side.


  • 6 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 head of garlic – finely pureed
  • 1/4 dried oregano
  • coarse salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (I used white)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups pitted dried plums (aka: PRUNES)
  • 1 cup of a mix of pitted olives (preferably Moroccan or Greek)
  • 1/2 cup of capers with a tablespoon of their juice (Don’t leave these out!)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (oy! cut this down!) brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup – but next time will do OJ)
  • 1 cup white wine


  1. Mix the garlic, oregano, salt & pepper, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves.
  2. Rub the chicken well in the marinade – put it all in a big ziploc bag and refrigerate – MINIMUM: 2 hours – but better overnight.
  3. An hour before serving, pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees
  4. Arrange the chicken in shallow baking/roasting pans – spoon the marinade over evenly.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes – basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices.
  6. Serve with the juices – you can garnish with parsley or cilantro.

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Filed under chicken, Cookbooks

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