Chicken Marbella

"The famous Chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate Cookbook. This recipe has been bringing down the house for years and I have made serious adaptations to it, fine-tuning it to suit our taste and make it a little more practical. I like to serve this with cous-cous and a big green salad."
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by Heather 2 photo by Heather 2
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
photo by DianaEatingRichly photo by DianaEatingRichly
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, apricots (if using), olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, brown sugar and white wine.
  • Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Arrange chicken in a single layer in a large, shallow baking pan and spoon marinade over it evenly.
  • Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.
  • With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.
  • Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Tony M.
    Give credit where credit is due. This recipe (minus the apricots) was made famous by the legendary Silver Palate Gourmet Food Shop in NYC. It was featured in their first cookbook published in 1979, and remains one of their most enduring recipes.
  2. Betty Rocker
    This is one of those incredible recipes that convert naysayers to ingredients they will tell you they hate (capers and prunes) and where the combination of ingredients greatly exceed the sum of the parts. The recipe is truly timeless -- I fell in love with it as a Silver-Palate-obsessed new cook in the 1980s, and it wouldn't be out of place in an Ottolenghi-inspired dinner party menu. It's also seasonless. I'm not much of a recipe person -- I like to cook according to my cravings and out of my head, but this is one worth following. Would also try with duck or rabbit.
  3. KLHquilts
    Fabulous. What more can I say? The absolute perfect dish for entertaining.
  4. EeeGee
    I came looking for this recipe after being served an amazing "maybe spanish chicken/prune/olive/wine casserole" at a catered work function and was unable to track down the caterer to get the recipe directly. Turns out it was Chicken Marbella (Thank you recipezaar for your search by ingrediant function) I am very judicious in giving out a perfect 5 stars but there is nothing to fault in this recipe - it is a classic for a good reason. Its super easy to make (just put it all in the dish you're going to bake it in the night before then add the wine and sugar put it in the oven the next night) and tastes divine. I am not generally a fan of fruit in meat dishes and had I simply read the recipe when I was browsing for something to make I probably would have dismissed it, I would have been SORELY mistaken. This is a fantastic, delicious, simple to prepare recipe I would encourage you to try it. I made mine with skinless chicken thigh peices. I used 4 large cloves of garlic which was perfect for my tastes but if you're not a big garlic fan 2 or 3 would probably be enough. I added 1/2 cup of dried apricots as the original dish I ate which sent me in search of this recipe included apricots and a google search showed they are considered an optional extra. About 20 mins into the cooking time I covered the dish with tin foil as even with basting the top of the chicken peices were drying out a little. Outstanding recipe evelyn/athens! Thank you.
  5. coopgirl
    Delicious! Didn't have apricots and did a rough chop of all the ingredients before marinating. I forgot to put in the wine and sugar but added to the marinade before baking. Served over orzo and it was great.


  1. alacuisine
    I haven't made this dish yet because I believe there is and ingredient error. the recipe calls for crumbed Italian parsley. However, in the recipe Italian parsley is followed, in parentheses, by the word cilantro. There is Curly parsley, Italian Parsley, and cilantro. but, each are herbs in their own right. They all have a unique flavor profile. This dish is Italian, so Parsley is most likely the correct herb. Cilantro is generally not used in Italian food and Cilantro was not available in Italy in the past. Chef Garfie
  2. LaurelAnn
    This is a great recipe! I was hesitant at first, given the interesting combination of ingredients. However, after we tasted the dish, it immediately became a family favorite. This dish has a wonderful combination of flavors that really meld together well. I would recommend following the recipe as posted. I did substitute chicken breasts for chicken thights with no problem. Served over couscous.
  3. zannah17
    This was delicious!! The only thing I changed was subbed prunes for dried apriots since that is what I had on hand. I seved over cilantro rice. This is one of the tastiest things I made made recently. Thanks!


<style>body { background: url(""); background-repeat: repeat-y; }</style> OK, here goes. I live in Athens, Greece. I moved out here many, many years ago from Ottawa, Canada - so I am blessed in having two wonderful heritages! I suffer from compulsive obsessive behaviour with regard to food and my psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea to find a 'society' where many have the same problem and try to find a cure. So far, I've copied a couple of thousand recipes from this site and my psychiatrist has thrown the towel in and refuses to answer the phone when I call. What did I do wrong? Got 3 kids that keep me on the go - 10 and under at this point (2008) - I may not get round to updating this for a few years, so you'll have to do your own maths. I teach English full-time and Greek Cookery part-time. I would like to make the cooking part of it full-time and the English Grammar part of it part-time. That's all for now.
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