Not Martha

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

This is yummy, easy to make and well worth the leftovers since it tastes even better after a day in the fridge. I first had it as part of a frozen foods swap (like a soup swap but with dinners) and have been meaning to make it ever since. The recipe is from The Silver Palate Cookbook. You cook it in a little white wine, leaving you with the rest of the bottle to sip while it’s in the oven. I think I need to make a collection of recipes that involve a bit of leftover wine and a good long cooking time.

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate shop, and the distinctive colors and flavors of the prunes, olives, and capers have kept it a favorite for years. It’s good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious appetizer.

The overnight marination is essential to the moistness of the finished product: The chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it travels well and makes excellent picnic fare.

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 puréed
1/4 cup dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 chickens (2 1/2 pounds each), quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.

4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

16 pieces, 10 or more portions

Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring the pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in the juices, then allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken.

(From The Silver Palate Cookbook. Prettier picture and oh so much more at Simply Recipes.)

· comments [19] · 05-7-2009 · categories:food · recipes ·

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shayna // May 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    oh, this is a favorite of mine. my mom used to make this when i was a kid and i’d always request “prune chicken” for birthdays. fyi, i put this recipe in my “can’t screw it up” pile as i’ve made it numerous times when i didn’t even have all of the ingredients, and it was still awesome.

  • 2 Dana McCauley // May 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Sounds fantastic and I love that green montage photo you took – wine brings out your artistic side!

    The silver palate book has so many good recipes. I should haul mine out and revisit it. It’s been too long!

  • 3 amanda // May 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Any recipe that starts with “1/2 cup olive oil” just has to be good.

  • 4 Lucia // May 7, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Yay! This recipe is awesome. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. My friend Elisa recommended it when I was gearing up for the frozen food swap (two years ago last month!). Cheers!

  • 5 Tara // May 8, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I had this once and it was soo tasty. Now my belly is grumbling… I think I just figured out Mother’s Day dinner! Thank you.

  • 6 Sarah // May 8, 2009 at 9:18 am

    This recipe is amazing. I had it at my mom’s book club once and still think about it. Apparently it is always such a hit, someone always ends up making every couple months!

  • 7 just barrie // May 8, 2009 at 9:28 am

    are those pics taken from your new camera? if so, it (and you) are capturing the food delightfully!

  • 8 Jennifer // May 8, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I’ve made this recipe forever!

    I often use apricots instead of prunes… it looks so nice and I like the flavor better.

  • 9 Jen // May 8, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I feel like I’m the last person in the world to have discovered this dish and I’ve always loved my Silver Palate books. I’ve made this with all chicken breasts (even boneless, skinless) for the sorority girls I cooked for and it’s almost as fabulous (though I prefer it on the bone)as the original. It’s the only chicken that i keep wanting to eat long after I’m full.

    Maybe not such a good thing, after all!

  • 10 maddy // May 9, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Really? A 1/4 cup dried oregano? I’m afraid it would be over-powering.

  • 11 megan // May 9, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Maddy – The oregano is more for the marinade, which becomes a sauce after cooking. You don’t end up eating all the sauce so it isn’t overwhelming, promise.

  • 12 Mandi // May 10, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I *love* Chicken Marbella, it’s sort of my go-to company dish. It’s SO SO easy – dump everything in a ziplock the night before, dump in pan to cook. Spoon out attractively, if that’s not too much work LOL!

  • 13 LJT // May 10, 2009 at 7:23 am

    I make this all the time, but since we don’t eat meat, we make it with extra-firm tofu – it’s divine! Just squeeze out all the water, cut into cubes, marinate and bake!

  • 14 Tina // May 11, 2009 at 8:22 am

    I just got all of the ingredients- but I have a question:
    What do you serve with it?

  • 15 Kate // May 15, 2009 at 9:13 am

    This sounds tasty but I’m wondering about a healthy substitution for the brown sugar- any ideas? or how might it be without the brown sugar?

  • 16 megan // May 15, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Kate – You can leave it out.

    Tina – No idea. We had salad.

  • 17 Stacey // May 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Wow, looks amazing! I bet it was delicious!

  • 18 renee // Jul 16, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I usually serve this FABU entree with cous cous…it’s great!

  • 19 Ellen // Oct 7, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Help!! I made a HUGE mistake! I am using half the chicken, so I halved evreything–except the oregano! Yikes! What was I thinking? I diluted the marinade with il & vinegar, and plan to cook with that much less marinade. I’m still afraid I may have ruined the dish. What do you think?

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