Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella made its recipe debut in the 1982  Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.

Indulge in the culinary delight of Chicken Marbella, a captivating dish perfect for hosting gatherings! This gluten-free and dairy-free masterpiece never fails to charm guests with its harmonious blend of flavors. Prepare to be amazed by the intriguing marriage of briny capers and succulent prunes, a combination that has stood the test of time and delighted palates for decades.

For those eager to explore new horizons, consider experimenting with alternative fruits such as dates or apricots in lieu of prunes. I personally adore the luscious tenderness and enhanced flavor of skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe. Their gradual cooking process results in a perfect balance of juicy meat and crispy, golden skin, ensuring a culinary triumph even if distractions arise during your hosting duties.

While the preparation demands a bit of forethought, the convenience it affords during dinner parties is unmatched. I recommend marinating the chicken up to two days in advance, though an overnight soak will suffice for those short on time. Pair this delectable dish with couscous and freshly baked crusty bread to savor every drop of its irresistible juices. Prepare to elevate your entertaining game with this sensational Chicken Marbella!

Fantastic,  served with couscous and some crusty bread to soak up all the yummy juices.


Chicken Marbella

Indulge in the culinary delight of Chicken Marbella, a true star of my entertaining repertoire! Not only is it gluten-free and dairy-free, but it also never fails to impress guests with its irresistible fusion of flavors. Prepare to be enchanted by the unexpected harmony between briny capers and sweet prunes—a culinary revelation that has captivated both my guests and generations of Marbella aficionados. Trust in the verdict of countless enthusiasts: Chicken Marbella is truly a “winner-winner chicken dinner” that promises to delight even the most discerning palates.

  • Author: Soffia Wardy
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Main Course
  • Method: Bake


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup good red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups large pitted prunes, such as Sunsweet
  • 1 cup large green olives, pitted, such as Cerignola
  • 1/2 cup capers, including the juices (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 heads of garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and minced
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1215 Chicken Thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio


  1. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, 2 tablespoons salt, and teaspoons of pepper. Add the chicken to the marinade. (You can also place the chicken and marinade in a 2-gallon plastic storage bag and squeeze out the air to ensure the chicken is fully covered with the marinade.) Refrigerate overnight, occasionally turning to be sure the marinade is getting into all of the chicken pieces.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place the chicken, skin side up, and the marinade in one layer in a large (15 × 18-inch) roasting pan, sprinkle with the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and pour the wine around (not over!) the chicken. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken is 145 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the chicken, prunes, and olives to a serving platter, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices.


Feel free to get creative and try dates or apricots instead of prunes! I love skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe. They become more tender and flavorful as they cook, the skin browns and gets a bit crispy, and it won’t dry out if you get distracted with your guests. It does require some planning, but it makes hosting dinner a breeze. I marinate the chicken up to two days in advance.