Chicken Marbella is an absolutely delicious famous chicken dish that can be prepared in advance and can easily feed a crowd. It’s the perfect winter dinner - easy enough for a weeknight but pretty and tasty enough to serve at a weekend dinner party. A little salty/briny & sweet all thanks to the prunes, olives & capers - a combination it’s well known for.
I made this chicken Marbella in partnership with Metro Ontario featuring their chicken thighs raised without antibiotics and the best way to enjoy this wonderful meal is with their fresh baked Front Street Bakery crusty Authentic Italian Calabrese Bread to sop up and enjoy all the mouthwatering pan juices! Metro’s Irresistibles brand and Selections have you covered when it comes to all the ingredients in this recipe (and any recipe for that matter), from the prunes to the the olives and even the wine from their extensive selection of wines in the their Beer and Wine section. One of my favourite parts of Metro is their bakery section. There are so many freshly baked breads to chose from for every meal. I chose an Italian Calabrese Bread that is perfect for any soup or stew. It’s so crusty and soaks up pan juices and sauces galore.
This dish sounds like a Mediterranean dish or even maybe middle eastern but it’s actually neither. It hails from Manhattan and is by a Jewish-American woman named Sheila Lukins - she is famous for this dish and it was the most popular one at her restaurant and the book she collaborated with Julee Rosso to publish is called The Silver Palate Cookbook. This is my take on Ina Garten’s take on the original recipe and it’s fabulous. It’s a classic party dish as the recipe can easily be doubled to feed more. It requires so little effort also making it perfect for entertaining. (I’m actually making it for company this weekend and can’t wait to eat it again!!) It’s marinated and then cooked with white wine, olive oil, prunes, and green olives. Prunes are a distinctive ingredient in the famous dish and add the perfect balance of sweetness to it along with the briny olives and capers. The chicken roasts in all those lovely ingredients lending to the amazing flavour of the pan juices after. It gets sprinkled with a little brown sugar before it goes in the oven which gives it it’s golden and delicious crust.
It’s simple and yet so fancy to serve. I chose to use chicken thighs but you are welcome to use one whole chicken cut into pieces. I like the uniformity in size of the thighs because they all pretty much cook for the same amount of time. No need to worry about smaller pieces being over done while the larger pieces like the breast still needing time in the oven. Feel free to also use chicken legs or drumsticks too. I also used whole olives with the pits in and removed the pits myself but you can definitively just buy pitted olives to make things faster and easier.
You will love it and it’s perfect with a simple salad, crusty bread as I mentioned before and I’m also serving it with some melting potatoes this weekend to serve my guests. Simple, simple, simple - no stress entertaining with a dish like this. You just have to try it!
I have partnered up with Metro Ontario to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
- 8 bone in skin on chicken thighs
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup pitted prunes
- ½ cup pitted green olives
- ¼ cup capers including their juices
- 3 bay leaves
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Marinate: In a large bowl combine chicken thighs, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 1 hr but preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a shallow baking pan or roaster along with remaining marinating liquid and ingredients. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
Bake uncovered for 50 minutes to 1 hour until chicken is cooked through and golden, basting 1-2 times with pan juices.
Serve right from pan or transfer to serving platter with slotted spoon and serve with remaining pan juices and garnished with parsley.