Chicken Marbella

This classic chicken recipe is France’s answer to a sweet and sour sauce, an Asian staple. The first main course offered by The Silver Palate, is it an easy but complex dish, combining sweet dried fruit, briny capers and olives, and tart red wine vinegar. It’s an unexpected crowdpleaser, more special that simple roast chicken, but not so complicated that you start pulling your hair out.
A step that you should not skip is that basting. In this recipe, frequent basting is an important step in creating a caramelized and rendered skin. I recommend every 15 minutes but even every 10 minutes wouldn’t hurt. The moist chicken and crispy crunchy skin pair perfectly with a smooth puree. I made a roasted cauliflower puree as the base before topping with a portion of chicken and spooning over the delicious sauce.
Chicken Marbella
Chicken Marbella (Serves 4) 
8-10 Chicken thighs (bone in and skin on)
1/4 head garlic, crushed
1/2 shallot, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dried prunes, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped coarsely
2 tbsp pitted and sliced spanish green olives
1/8 cup capers with juice
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white wine
  1. Combine all ingredients in “MARINADE” section in bowl. (garlic –> salt and pepper)
  2. Arrange chicken, skin side down,  in a 9″x11″ glass baking dish.
  3. Pour marinade over chicken, cover in plastic wrap, and move to the refrigerator.
  4. Let chicken marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, flipping the chicken to be skin side up half way through.
  5. Remove chicken from fridge and preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  6. Pour 1/4 cup of white wine into the pan.
  7. Top each chicken thigh with a pinch of brown sugar and place the dish in the oven.
  8. Cook chicken for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes.
  9. Serve chicken with potatoes or a mild puree like cauliflower or parsnip. Be sure to spoon a generous amount of the marinade over the chicken when serving.


Chicken Marbella


2 thoughts on “Chicken Marbella

  1. This is such a beautiful dish! For some reason, I’ve been served Marbella at friends’ twice in the last two weeks, and each time I remarked on what a great fusion of flavors it was. The perfect blend of tart, umami, sweet and OMChicken! I like this simple, snappy recipe and the pics are spot on. Thanks, Pippa!

  2. Pingback: Butternut Squash Medallions with Toasted Squash Seeds, Browned Butter, and Fried Sage | PippaCooks

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