Marvelous Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella – My mom makes this for company – so excellent – I had to try it for myself. The recipe is from the Silver Palate which was apparently the book (and store) that sparked the Mediterranean cooking movement in the 70s & 80s. The second book was called The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook – which to me sounds like the quintessential 70s cookbook.

You marinate the chicken in all kinds of seemingly random ingredients like pitted prunes, capers and vinegar – I suggest marinating in a bowl instead of a casserole dish so the chicken gets marinated on all sides. Before popping it in the oven you add a copious amount of brown sugar and some white wine (I love recipes that use wine).

I have to reiterate how important the brown sugar is – it neutralizes the vinegary taste of the marinade to make it a lovely taste instead. If you forget it (like I did the first time making it) the chicken will taste like vinegar and your guests will try to pretend to like it – like they are doing here:

I blame my interim apartment at the time which was not the best place for entertaining. The second time around was much better – after all I had a beautiful dining room to entertain in!

I found those candlesticks in the backyard! Even the backyard of this house is classy!


  • 7 Chicken breasts (bone and skin removed)
  • 1 Head of garlic chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Capers
  • 1/2 Cup Green Olives
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro (or Parsely will do)
  1. Combine all ingredients, except the last 3, in a bowl. Add more olive oil if the chicken is not entirely coated. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  2. Lay the chicken in a casserole dish and add white wine and brown sugar.
  3. Cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Serve topped with fresh cilantro.

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