Chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 12 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 60 mins

A dish that gets zip from olives and capers and sweetness from prunes -- yes, prunes.

This was the first main-course dish to be offered at The Silver Palate shop, in New York City, and the distinctive flavors of the prunes, olives and capers kept it a favorite for years. It's good hot or at room temperature.


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 dried bay leaves
1 head garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/4 cup oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 chickens (2 1/2 pounds each), quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, finely chopped


  1. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large shallow baking dishes and spoon marinade over top evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
  4. Bake 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at the thickest part, yield a clear yellow (rather than pink) liquid.
  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle with parsley. Pour remaining pan juices into a sauce boat. Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in juices, then allow it to come to room temperture before serving. Spoon some reserved juice over chicken.

Recipe courtesy of The Silver Palate Cookbook, 25th Anniversary Edition, by Julee Russo and Sheila Lukins (Workman Publishing, March 2007.)



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