This recipe for Chicken Marbella comes from “The Silver Palate” cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso. It’s one of the best chicken recipes you’ll try, with so many complex and unique flavors coming from the prunes, apricots, olives and capers. The addition of a bit of brown sugar gives it that sweet and savory umami that’s impossible to resist.
During the summer months, to avoid heating up the kitchen, I cook it outside on my grill over indirect heat.
This recipe feeds quite a few people and always gets compliments. Whenever we have a potluck at work, or go to a holiday party, we usually bring Chicken Marbella. Serve it at room temperature.
Chicken Marbella on the Grill
- 1 large 5 1/2 pound chicken cut into serving pieces with skin on (or two small fryer chickens)
- 1 tablespoon garlic-shallot puree or 1/2 head of garlic peeled and finely puréed
- 4 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano or 2 tbsp dried oregano
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted dried apricots sliced
- 12 large pitted Spanish green olives cut in half
- 1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chardonnay, apple juice or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley or cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 1 In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight.
- 2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
- 3 Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with the pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest point, yield clear yellow juice (not pink).
- 4 With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Serve remaining juice in a gravy boat.