Thursday, November 1, 2018

Chicken Marbella Redux for a Crowd @lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: If you came of age during the Silver Palate years, you might remember making or at least reading about chicken Marbella. This recipe re-surfaced in my memory a couple weeks ago when I had to come up with a new main dish for a crowd of 10. I looked up the recipe in the original cookbook, and found things that I could change around. I never did like the addition of prunes. Making the garlic sauce seemed unnecessary--extra work when I was looking for less, and I’m always looking to reduce salt. My revised Marbella dinner turned out delicious and I thought I’d pass it onto you.

Chicken Marbella redux


Half a head of garlic cloves, peeled and separated
2 teaspoons white or black pepper
4 tablespoons oregano
Six bay leaves
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup large green olives, halved
1/4 cup capers
5 to 6 pounds chicken pieces-- I like chicken thighs with bone in and some skin left on

And just before going in the oven: 

brown sugar and a little white wine 

Mix up the marinade and set this aside in a large stainless steel bowl. If the chicken pieces have a lot of skin, use kitchen shears to cut this off. Mix the chicken into the marinade and set aside for several hours or better yet, overnight, in the refrigerator of course.

Move the chicken into a large baking pan and pour the marinade and all the chunky ingredients around the edges. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of brown sugar on top of each chicken piece. Pour a little white wine around the pan.

Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes to an hour. If you like, broil the chicken to brown the skin for three minutes at the end. Serve with brown rice and a vegetable and salad.

Death on the Menu, the 8th Key West food critic mystery, is available now from Crooked Lane Books. You can order it wherever books are sold!


  1. This is a dish I have never had. It doesn't sound too difficult, so I may need to try it. I hope to read Death on the Menu soon!

    1. It's really not difficult and quite delicious! Hope you enjoy the book Deb...

  2. I have enjoyed eating Chicken Marbella many times. And it seems to be on the mind of many of us in updated versions. But I must admit that I have not successfully made it, myself. My dish always seems to have more liquid than it should by the end of baking even with my ingredients measured. Love the idea of using apricots and cherries instead of the prunes!

  3. I, too, don't remember this dish.
    What an unexpected combination of fruit and olives with the chicken.