‘Tis the Season…

christmas tree lucy

Last night was spent trimming the Christmas tree with family and friends along with a throwback meal from the 80’s. Chicken Marbella is probably the most popular dish to come out of the beloved Silver Palate Cookbook.  A superb (mostly make ahead) dish when you need to feed about 10 people (although it can easily be halved) this meal is the perfect crowd pleaser and one you may remember from your parents dinner parties.

Here’s my version for a whole new generation of cooks who may not know about this iconic dish.  I served my chicken over cous cous with a side of broccolini with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fleur de sel.

chicken marbella


Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook
Serves about 10-12 people
Recipe can be divided for a smaller crowd


About 8 lbs chicken thighs and legs, skin on

1 head of garlic, peeled, minced or finely puréed

2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped fine or puréed with garlic

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup pitted prunes (can substitute dried apricots or figs)

1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives

1/2 cup capers with a bit of the juice

6 bay leaves

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh cilantro, chopped fine


In a large bowl, combine chicken thighs and legs, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves.  Mix well, cover tightly and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large roasting or baking pan, arrange chicken in a single layer (you may need to use two pans to fit all the chicken pieces.) Spoon marinade over the chicken evenly.  Sprinkle chicken evenly with brown sugar and finally pour the white wine around the pieces.

Bake for about 1 hour until chicken is cooked through.  Juices should be clear (not pink) when pricked with a fork.

Transfer chicken pieces, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter.  Spoon a few tablespoons of pan juice on top of chicken, then sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro. Pour remaining pan juice into a small dish or sauceboat and serve alongside the chicken platter.

I like to serve this dish hot over cous cous, mashed potatoes or rice.  But it also makes a great meal at room temperature.

chicken marbella




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