Chicken Marbella is a dish first introduced in The Silver Palate Cookbook in 1982. Its unique combination of prunes, capers, and green olives quickly captured the hearts of home chefs and remains a family favorite in many households throughout the United States today. So when a friend requested that I make an adaptation of the recipe, I was happy to give it a shot and see what I could do.
And truth be told, I didn’t make many changes from the original recipe, because it’s already delicious and uses whole ingredients. However, I only used dark meat (instead of a quartered whole bird) to make sure all of the pieces cooked evenly. I also made some minor ingredient changes, like adding half an onion and using a butter and honey glaze instead of a brown sugar coating typically used in this recipe. Altogether, it all adds up to a slightly magical experience: a gourmet-tasting dish that’s dead simple to make!
4 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
4 chicken drumsticks
4 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar okay)
8 prunes, pitted, cut in half
8 green olives, pitted cut in half
2 tbsp capers
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter
1 small handful parsley, chopped
Blend the onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil until smooth. Stir in the red wine vinegar, then combine with the chicken, prunes, olives, capers, and bay leaf. Marinate at least four hours, overnight preferred.
Once marinated, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish, in one layer. Pour the white wine around the chicken pieces. Bake for 15 minutes, uncovered.
As the chicken bakes, melt the butter on low and stir in the honey, simmering and reducing for about 8 minutes until it makes a nice, nutty-smelling glaze.
After the chicken has baked for 15 minutes, brush the honey/butter glaze over the pieces. Bake for another 45 minutes, uncovered.
Check the chicken’s internal temperature closest to the bone (I used this thermometer) – it should register at 165 degrees. If not, cook for another 10 minutes and check it again. Remove the chicken pieces, stir the chopped parsley into the leftover sauce, then spoon the sauce over the chicken pieces and serve.