Chicken Marbella
Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella is a classic recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook, first published in 1982. It’s a succulent chicken recipe prepared with olives, white wine, herbs and prunes for sweetness. Perfect for a party!

Chicken Marbella is one of the best dishes to ever come out of the Silver Palate Cookbook. It’s chicken marinated first in oil, vinegar, capers, olives, prunes and herbs, then baked with brown sugar and white wine.

The secret of Chicken Marbella: plums!

Plums are the signature ingredient in this famous dish. In fact, they are often used in classic French cooking, and the Silver Palate’s recipe borrows heavily from the traditional French lapin aux pruneaux.

While prunes and capers may seem like an odd combination, when cooked together with chicken they create a delicious sweet and sour savory flavor.

An easy chicken marbella recipe – great for a party!

Chicken Marbella is a great entertaining dish. Not only is it easy to put together without a lot of hands-on cooking time, but it’s also a real crowd pleaser.

The original recipe calls for the chicken pieces to marinate overnight. We found marinating for 2 to 3 hours worked well.

About the Silver Palate Cookbook

What is the Silver Palate Cookbook? It was published in 1982 and was written by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso, who owned the Silver Palate Gourmet Shop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the 1970s.

They revolutionized American home cooking at the time, introducing Spanish, Moroccan, Italian, Mediterranean and Asian influences, adding complex flavors and sophistication to homemade dishes. The Silver Palate Cookbook showed people how easy it is to entertain at home in a very contemporary way. The dishes were accessible and doable for regular home cooks as they didn’t take all day to cook.

Forty years later, it’s still a popular classic. Just like the Chicken Marbella dish that was all the rage at dinner parties in the 1980s.

What to serve with Chicken Marbella

We recommend a starchy side to mop up all those delicious pan juices that come from cooking the chicken. But a light salad also goes wonderfully with Chicken Marbella.

  • Perfect mashed potatoes
  • Easy rice pilaf
  • Classic Caesar salad
  • Broccoli Rabe with caramelized onions
  • Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Herbs and Parmesan

More crowd loving chicken recipes to make!

  • Fried chicken in feta sauce
  • Chicken Cacciatore
  • Chicken cordon bleu
  • Easy chicken pot pie
  • Classic baked chicken

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Chicken Marbella

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
60 minutes

3 hours

total time
4 hrs 15 mins

up to 8 servings

Although the original recipe calls for 2 small chickens quartered, you could easily make this recipe with 5 pound chicken chunks, thighs, and breasts.

Slightly adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook.


  • 2 Chicken, 2 1/2 lb each quartered, bone-in, skin (or 5 lb chicken chunks)

  • cloves out 1/2 head garlicfinely mashed

  • 2 tablespoon dried oregano

  • Rough salt and freshly ground pepper, taste

  • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 Cup Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 Cup gutted plums

  • 8th big-pitched spanish green olivescut in half

  • 1/4 Cup capers with some juice

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1/4 Cup Brown sugar

  • 1/2 Cup White wine

  • 2 tablespoon fresh italian parsley, finely chopped


  1. Marinate Chicken:

    In a large bowl, combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  3. Prepare the chicken in a baking pan or two:

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

  4. Bake until done:

    Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, basting frequently with the pan juices. The chicken is done when a sharp knife inserted into the thickest part of the thigh pieces spills clear yellow juices (not pink).

  5. Serve with pan juices:

    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Pour some of the gravy over the chicken and sprinkle liberally with the parsley.

    Serve the remaining juices in a sauce boat.

nutritional information (per serving)
472 calories
27g Fat
15g carbohydrates
39g protein
Previous articlePotato Leek Soup
Next articleCheesy Tortellini Casserole
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!