This easy, juicy, and caramelized Chicken Marbella recipe is packed with olives, capers, and prunes. Marinated in a sweet, herby brine, you’ll love the flavors of this simple yet fancy dish.
Baked Chicken Marbella Recipe
This Chicken Marbella is a quick weeknight meal, boasting a mix of sweet, briny, and savory flavors, thanks to the olives, capers, and prunes. Marinate ahead and just pop it in the oven when ready! The chicken, marinated in olive oil and red wine vinegar, is tender, juicy, and caramelized by brown sugar. It’s paired with thinly sliced onions and garlic, making the cooking juices irresistible. Ready in about an hour, this dish is restaurant-quality yet surprisingly easy to make at home.
What Is Chicken Marbella?
Chicken Marbella is a Jewish-American recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook that has nothing to do with Spain. FYI: Marbella is a city in southern Spain, situated on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a baked chicken dish full of sweet, salty, and savory ingredients, creating a complex flavor profile. Despite the fancy flavors from the combination of ingredients, it’s an easy dinner to put on the table.
Ingredients For Chicken Marbella
For the Marinade
- Olive oil, but you can also use avocado oil or coconut oil. Don’t use vegetable oil.
- Shallot or you can substitute for 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves.
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Pitted green olives
- Olive brine
- Capers or substitute them for green olives.
- Capers brine
- Pitted prunes
- Dried oregano or substitute it for 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley.
- Red wine vinegar
For the Chicken
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks but chicken breasts will also work.
- Salt and black pepper
- Garlic cloves and try not to use garlic powder for this.
- Bay leaves
- Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, but not white granulated sugar.
- Dry white wine
- Low-sodium chicken broth or veggie stock.
- Fresh orange juice, and if possible, try not to use boxed juice.
How to Make Chicken Marbella
- Make the marinade and mix the olive oil, shallot, salt, black pepper, green olives, olive brine, capers, and caper brine in a large mixing bowl. Add the prunes, dried oregano, and red wine vinegar. Add the chicken, toss it until it’s completely coated, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 1 to 8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the baking rack on the lowest rack.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and place it in a large baking dish. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the marinade.
- Add the onion and quartered garlic in the spaces between the chicken. Add the bay leaves. Sprinkle the chicken with the thinly sliced garlic. Top the chicken thighs and drumsticks with brown sugar. Pour the wine, chicken broth, and orange juice from the side.
- Bake it. Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Baste it with its cooking juices and serve.
Tips for Success
- Marinate it overnight. This will help the flavors come together a lot better, so let it marinate if you have enough time to plan ahead.
- Use foil. Line the baking dish with foil for easy clean-up.
- Reduce the prunes. If you’re not sure you’ll love how sweet this dish might turn out, add prunes to taste. 2-3 tablespoons of prunes should be enough to give you a light start to sweet and savory dishes.
- Add more wine. Adding 1/4 cup more white wine to the chicken before baking will produce a less sweet, slightly saucier dish.
What to Serve with Chicken Marbella
This easy chicken Marbella pairs well with all your favorite sides and appetizers, as long as they’re not on the sweet side or too heavily spiced. I particularly love it with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes like my Mediterranean White Bean Salad and Crispy Baked Falafel.You can also serve it with my Roasted Artichokes, Lavash Bread, and Creamy Garlic Mushrooms with Bacon.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Once cooled, store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Reheat it in the microwave for 2 minutes or until warm. You can also reheat it in a pan set over medium heat for 6 to 10 minutes.
More Baked Chicken Recipes
- Sheet Pan Honey Garlic Lemon Chicken with Potatoes Recipe
- Baked Garlic Butter Chicken
- Piri Piri Chicken (Nando’s Chicken)
- Artichoke Chicken RecipeArtichoke Chicken
- 2.5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 large garlic cloves, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- Mix the olive oil, shallot, salt, black pepper, green olives, olive brine, capers, and caper brine in a large mixing bowl. Add the prunes, dried oregano, and red wine vinegar; stir to combine.
- Add the chicken and toss it until it's completely coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the oven rack in the bottom position.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and place it in a large baking dish or roasting pan. Season it with salt and pepper to taste, and pour in the marinade.
- Place the sliced onion and quartered garlic in the spaces between the chicken. Add the bay leaves. Sprinkle the chicken with thinly sliced garlic.
- Top the chicken thighs and drumsticks with brown sugar. Pour in the wine, chicken broth, and orange juice from the side.
- Pop the baking dish into the oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check for doneness – chicken is cooked through when its internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a platter, baste it with the cooking juices, and serve warm.
- Chicken: We’re using bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks. While you certainly can use skinless, boneless chicken breasts, I highly recommend trying this recipe as-is. You can make it your own the second time around.
- Brine: Use the brine from the jar of olives and the jar of capers. You only need a tablespoon of each.
- Prunes: The original recipe calls for prunes, but you can also use dried apricots or dates.
- If time permits, marinate the chicken overnight. This will help the flavors meld together, producing juicier, more flavorful chicken.
- Reduce the sauce: Completely optional, but always a delicious idea. Transfer the baked chicken pieces to a platter and top with the prunes, olives, and capers. Then, pour the cooking juices into a skillet, place the skillet/pan over medium heat, and bring the juices to a boil; continue to cook until the sauce is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Strain it into a heatproof bowl and pour it over the chicken.
- Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.