JUICY CHICKEN STORY!: Chicken Marbella recipe was voted the fan favourite dish of the 25th anniversary edition of the Silver Palate Cookbook. Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins get top billing for popularizing this chicken dish. The real inspiration was from the tajines of Morocco and from the cuisines of southern Spain. It also has a similarity to the classic French dish “lapin aux pruneaux“. It was never discovered in Marbella but in New York city. However, the flavour influences were from those areas. S.S.F. has given this dish a new healthy spin. This recipe is S-O-O-O delicious. It is a great dish for entertaining and can be served hot for dinner or even cold for an outdoor picnic. It will be a smash hit every time. Three bay leaves helps makes this a stunning dish famous for its sweet, tangy, briny, garlicky flavor. Cutting back on the brown sugar maintains the right balance of flavors.
Chicken Marbella Recipe
Although the original recipe calls for 4 small chickens to be quartered, you could easily do this recipe with 5 pounds of chicken pieces, thighs and breasts. Bone-in pieces would be more flavourful.
This recipe can easily be doubled.
- 4 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on
- Garlic cloves, 5 minced
- 4 Tbsp dried oregano
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes
- 1/4 cup or 8 large pitted Spanish green olives, cut in half
- 1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or preferably a brown sugar substitute
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 Tbsp 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, sugar substitute, wine and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight. (You can also optionally freeze at this point.)
2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken in a large baking pan, top with marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer in the pan and spoon marinade over it along with all the other ingredients: prunes, olives, capers, etc.
3 Bake until done: Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Chicken is done when a sharp knife inserted into the thigh pieces, at their thickest point, run with clear yellow juices (not pink).
4 If the sauce is watery, remove the chicken and reduce the sauce to make it thicker and more flavourful.
5 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.
6. If serving cold, let the Chicken Marbella cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerator and you are serving it outdoors or at a picnic site, allow it to come to room temperature before serving. By the time you arrive at the al fresco site or have your table set and the sides out, the temperature should be fine. Spoon some of the reserved juices over the chicken.
DRIED PLUMS OR PRUNES YOU’VE BEEN IGNORING: Whether you have 1 prune or 10 prunes a day, you not only improve muscles, bones, digestion, you improve your eyesight. Vitamin A and K are included in this super food. Bone density is improved more with prunes than any other fruit. Some doctors claim after 3 months reverse osteoporosis occurs when adding [100 grams = 10 prunes = 240 cal] prunes to your daily diet. It is also a deterrent for arthritis. You can adds prunes to your smoothies, trail mix or simply snack on a prune if you are looking for a sweet treat!