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Chicken Marbella

chicken marbella recipeThis recipe is a throwback to the ’80s.  When just about every “gourmet” kitchen had a copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook.  Remember the book with the red and white grid background?  My mom had a copy and I remember her using it often.  Even though it is a little kitschy now, there are still some really delicious recipes in it.  Like this one for Chicken Marbella.  When someone has a baby,  a death in the family, or is in need of a meal for whatever reason, this is what I bring 9 times out of 10.  This chicken dish needs to be started the day before.  It really needs to marinade overnight.  It helps soften the chicken, and results in tender and flavorful chicken that you will not get it if you skip this step.  I speak from experience, and it was disappointing.  The marinade is sweet and salty, my absolute favorite combination and then when you bake it, you cover it in brown sugar and wine.  The chicken almost poaches in this liquid and is really one of my all-time favorite dinners.  It usually is my “Welcome Fall” dinner.  I serve it on a bed of baked rice and covered in chopped flat leaf parsley.  When I bring it to a friend, I do bake it off, but if they already have quite a few meals, it freezes really well.  You can freeze it cooked, or in the marinade and bake it off when you need it.  I bring along a dish of baked rice (which also freezes well), a green salad, crusty bread, a bottle of white wine, and chocolate chip cookies.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes (I leave this out, but it is part of the recipe)
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 head of garlic (I put it in the food processor)
1/4 cup dried oregano
salt and pepper
8 chicken breasts (or 2 roasting chicken in pieces)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

baked rice

chicken marbella recipePut the olive oil, red wine vinegar, olives, capers, bay leaves, oregano, and garlic in a large Ziploc bag.  Season well with salt and pepper.

chicken marbella recipeAdd the chicken to the bag, and let marinade overnight.  Do not skip this step.

chicken marbella recipePlace the chicken and all of the marinade in a large baking dish.

chicken marbella recipeTop the chicken with brown sugar and wine.

chicken marbella recipeBake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  Baste every 15 minutes or so with the cooking liquid.

chicken marbella recipeServe the chicken over baked rice with some of the cooking liquid, olives, and capers.  Garnish with lots of chopped parsley.

Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pitted prunes (I leave this out, but it is part of the recipe)
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic (I put it in the food processor)
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 chicken breasts (or 2 roasting chicken in pieces)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
  • baked rice

Instructions

  1. Put the olive oil, red wine vinegar, olives, capers, bay leaves, oregano, and garlic in a large Ziploc bag. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the chicken to the bag, and let marinade overnight. Do not skip this step.
  3. Place the chicken and all of the marinade in a large baking dish.Top the chicken with brown sugar and wine.Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Baste every 15 minutes or so with the cooking liquid.
  4. Serve the chicken over baked rice with some of the cooking liquid, olives, and capers. Garnish with lots of chopped parsley.

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  1. Tom

    August 20th, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I remember taking this dish on many a picnic as it’s great chilled also. Should have left the prunes in though…its delicious!

  2. bakedbree

    August 21st, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks Tom. Not a fan of the prune, I have made it with them and now leave them out.

  3. Kelley {mountain mama cooks}

    August 20th, 2011 at 6:28 am

    I have a chicken marbella recipe in one of my many “to make” piles. What a great EASY recipe now that school is about to start back up. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. bakedbree

    August 21st, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    You are welcome Kelley. I love this recipe and make it a lot.

  5. Donna

    August 20th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Bree, are the chicken breasts whole then cut in half? or is it 8 complete whole chicken breasts as if it is whole, seems like an awful lot of meat with other ingredients in it. I would certainly love to try it & I love your recipes!!

  6. bakedbree

    August 21st, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    8 halves. 3 packages of chicken is usually what I use.

  7. Jennifer

    August 20th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    All the ingredients sound amazing. My family loves olives! But I’m concerned about the brown sugar. How sweet is the chicken when cooked? I’m worried it may be too sweet. Thanks!!

  8. bakedbree

    August 21st, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    If you are concerned, then halve the amount of brown sugar, it is a little sweet.

  9. Teri C

    August 21st, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    i agree with the prune addition as well. I’ve made this over the last 10 years on many occassion and for large groups. The prunes add another depth to the dish and it is GREAT the next day!

  10. bakedbree

    August 21st, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I just really don’t like prunes…

  11. Tres Delicious

    August 21st, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    This marbella is marvelous! it has a unque family of ingredients.

  12. bakedbree

    August 21st, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    thank you! I love the capers the most.

  13. Anna

    August 21st, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    And this is why I love your blog! I’ll be making this meal next week and taking it to a brand new mama who is dear to me. Thanks for making my life easier!

  14. bakedbree

    August 22nd, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    thank YOU for reading!

  15. Ann

    August 27th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    the original recipes calls for a quartered chicken…I would like to use a quarter chicken but afraid the skin will not cook properly

  16. bakedbree

    August 29th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I have never used whole chicken pieces, so I really don’t know.

  17. Tissy

    September 3rd, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    I just finished eating this in “test run” – it’s SO good! I sort of made a face about having to marinate for 24 hours but I am SO glad I did!! My fiance comes home from deployment this month and this is going to be one of the first dinners I make when he gets back – he’ll think I spent all my time over the last 7 months learning to cook!!! Thanks again! 🙂

  18. bakedbree

    September 6th, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I love this dinner, the marinading time is essential, because it also adds to the tenderness of the chicken, not just flavor. Your fiance will be so proud of you for learning how to cook!

  19. Anna

    January 10th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    This chicken was so delicous, thank you for sharing this recipe. I did include the prunes, and I used 1/4 cup of agave instead of the 1 cup sugar. It was divine! I wish I had made a double batch it got gobbled up so fast!

  20. bakedbree

    January 17th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    glad that you liked it Anna.

  21. Sheila

    January 13th, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I’m making this ahead and then reheating it in a couple of days. What tips do you have for reheating? Thanks so very much for your help.

  22. bakedbree

    January 17th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I usually reheat it in the microwave, but I don’t have one anymore. I would cover it with foil and put it in a 300 degree oven until warmed through.

  23. L Seidelman

    February 3rd, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Been making this recipe ever since I bought TSP Cookbook – it’s truly one of those dishes that you can truly depend on over and over. Never disappoints. Bree, I love your blog/photography and have turned on many of my foodie friends to your recipes. Thanks for being so inspiring.

  24. bakedbree

    February 9th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    thank you! It is a classic, no-fail recipe.

  25. Cathy

    May 13th, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I want to make this for a fundraiser for 8 on Wednesday. Is the chicken you use skin-on bone-in or boneless, skinless. Also, can I bake the rice in advance and heat it up when I’m ready to serve? Great blog, thanks. I’m so glad I discovered you!

  26. bakedbree

    May 23rd, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    You can use bone in or boneless. And yes, you can reheat the rice.

  27. Dianne

    March 4th, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Do you cover the chicken to cook it or use an open dish in the oven?

  28. bakedbree

    March 5th, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Open dish.

  29. Marie

    May 23rd, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I just made this dish and would like to freeze it before I bake it to save it for the weekend when family is visiting. Is it okay to freeze before baking?
    If so, do I have totally thaw it before baking?

    Thanks,
    marie

  30. bakedbree

    May 26th, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I’ve never done it this way. I bake it first, then freeze. But I would let it thaw in the marinade.

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