Sweet And Salty Chicken Marbella Recipe

Unlike its name would suggest, chicken Marbella is not a product of Spanish cuisine. Instead, the first recipe was published in the early '80s in "The Silver Palate Cookbook," courtesy of two American cooks. The dish was immediately popular in Jewish American culture as a staple at holiday celebrations. Of course, it has transcended pockets of the population and expanded to satisfy palates all over. 

Food Republic recipe developer Julianne De Witt brings us this sweet and salty chicken Marbella recipe that will quickly become a dinner party favorite. "This is a great dish to serve for a crowd because you can marinate the chicken beforehand and pop it in the oven when your guests arrive," De Witt explains. 

She is a huge fan of the contrasting tastes and shares, "The idea of pairing prunes with olives and capers might seem a bit unusual, but the flavors really complement each other." If you're looking for an easy meal that will impress everyone at the table and titillate your taste buds, look no further.

Gather the ingredients for this sweet and salty chicken Marbella

For this recipe, De Witt calls for boneless and skinless chicken thighs and explains that "it cuts down on the cooking time, making this a perfect weeknight dinner." 

To season the dish, get kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, olive oil, white wine vinegar, pitted prunes, pitted Castelvetrano olives, capers, extra caper brine, minced garlic cloves, dried oregano, bay leaves, dry white wine, and brown sugar. To thicken the serving sauce, you'll need butter. Finally, mince some Italian parsley for garnish.

Combine the chicken ingredients and chill

Get out a large baking dish and arrange the chicken thighs across the bottom. Season them well with salt and pepper to start. Then, drizzle olive oil and white wine vinegar over the meat. Next, add prunes, olives, capers, brine, minced garlic, oregano, and bay leaves. Flip the thighs to coat them with the ingredients, then cover the dish and transfer it to the fridge. Let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight. 

Add the remaining liquid and bake

Once the chicken has sufficiently marinated, take the dish out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour the wine around the meat in the dish and sprinkle the brown sugar over the thighs. Transfer the dish to a rack and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat is 165 F. De Witt highlights that "braising the chicken in the marinade and wine results in juicy, tender chicken."

Plate the chicken and prep the sauce

Once the chicken is ready, transfer the thighs to a serving platter. Toss out the bay leaves and scatter the olives and prunes on the plate with the chicken. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste and garnish with minced parsley. Keep the dish warm while you make the sauce. 

Pour the juices from the baking dish into a small saucepan and bring the contents to a boil. Once bubbling, stir in the butter until it melts, then take the pan off the heat.

Serve this sweet and salty chicken Marbella dish

Serve this sweet and salty chicken Marbella with the rich sauce on the side. De Witt shares, "I love to serve mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce, but you can also serve this with rice or couscous." As for vegetables, she recommends, "roasted asparagus or a crisp green salad."

If you have any leftovers, rejoice because, "Chicken Marbella tastes even better the next day," according to De Witt. Simply store them in a sealed container in the fridge, "then reheat in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 F."

Sweet And Salty Chicken Marbella Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
This sweet and salty chicken Marbella recipe pairs prunes with olives and capers, creating a flavorful dish that is surprisingly easy to prepare.
Prep Time
Cook Time
closeup chicken Marbella dish
Total time: 4 hours
  • 12 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, plus more for serving
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup prunes, pitted
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 2 tablespoons caper brine
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup minced Italian parsley
  1. Arrange the chicken in a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, brine, garlic, oregano, and bay leaves, flipping the chicken to coat it completely.
  3. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  5. Pour the wine around the chicken and top the meat with brown sugar.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the chicken reaches 165 F.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, discard the bay leaves, and spoon the olives and prunes over top.
  8. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and garnish with minced parsley. Keep warm.
  9. Pour the remaining pan juices into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then stir in the butter.
  10. Serve the sauce on the side.
Calories per Serving 1,727
Total Fat 124.0 g
Saturated Fat 33.1 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 582.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 48.6 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Total Sugars 28.8 g
Sodium 1,785.6 mg
Protein 97.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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