The Silver Palate’s Chicken Marbella–quartered chickens marinated overnight in oil, vinegar, capers, olives, prunes, and herbs then baked with brown sugar and white wine–is a classic. This version calls for boneless, skinless breasts. Either way it’s delicious.
Classic Chicken Marbella
The great cookbook author and cook Joan Nathan, whose version this is, prefers boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The recipe everyone loves, from The Silver Palate Cookbook, calls for quartered chickens (as in the photo). Make no bones about it, the choice is yours. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 3 H
- Makes 10 to 12 servings
Place the chicken (breast or pieces) in a large bowl. Cover it with the garlic, oregano, coarse salt and pepper, vinegar, olive oil, dried plums, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Rub the chicken well with the marinade and refrigerate, covered, ideally overnight, but at least for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Arrange the chicken in a single layer in 1 or 2 large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around but not on them.
Bake for about 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, dried plums, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley or cilantro. Serve the remaining pan juices in a separate bowl.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This smelled absolutely delicious as it cooked. The flavor was excellent as well, quite sweet; I found it went well with a saltier side dish. If I were to change anything, it would be to reduce the pan sauces a bit more before serving.
Every last one of my guests raved about this dish. The blend of flavors and textures is exciting to the palate, and it is visually stunning. I called my mother the next day to tell her that I have a winning recipe for her to make the next time she hosts her bridge club.
This was an excellent choice for a casual Sunday-afternoon get together. Everyone, even the teenagers in the group, loved this recipe. As it was baking, the bold flavors of the dish filled the house with a tantalizing aroma of what was to come. The end result was a beautiful mix of flavors, colors, and textures tasting as fabulous as it smelled.