Entree/ Poultry

Chicken Marbella

You will be smacking your lips by the time you get this in the refrigerator.

So, what are you feeding your family and friends during the holidays this year? Back when we were kids it seemed like we would have turkey and dressing for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, maybe throw in some ham and probably had the save side dishes. Over the years of being married (now 47) we started doing something beef — either prime rib, beef tenderloin and this year we are doing steak and I have ordered a “M” branding iron that we will use to brand each steak. I’m calling this our cowboy Christmas. We are renting a house over in Wimberly, TX and all three kids and spouses and 5 3/4 grandsons are all coming.

I’m trying to come up with some old fashioned games and plenty of Christmas crafts the kids can make for table decorations or place cards. Cowboy acrylic hat to use for chips and dip or ice buckets, bandanas for napkins and anything else I can come up to have a Texas themed “cowboy” Christmas. Our house (Wimberly) has a huge outdoor kitchen with even a pizza oven and a porch so long with rocking chairs to over look the hills of Wimberly.

If someone told you about a recipe that has chicken, green olives, prunes, capers, wine, brown sugar and lots of spices you would probably say “yuck”. But, if you want a quick recipe to do during the holidays then give this a try. Back in the 80’s when Silver Palate Cookbook first published this recipe people were really use to eating sweet and savory together but all these flavors blend perfectly and get better the longer it marinades. Over night marinating is just fine but I wouldn’t do any less. I normally like to make this dish with bone-in breast with the wing attached and when ready to serve it you can tuck a couple of prunes under the wing for a really nice presentation. Some people also add apricots along with the prunes for the color.

What holiday dishes are you making this year? If you would like to share, leave in the comment section at the end of this recipe.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: This Cream Spinach with Glazed Mushroom will be on our Christmas menu to go with our steaks.



Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.


I used fresh bay leaves but you can substitute dried ones.


Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover and refrigerate overnight.


After the chicken has marinaded add the brown sugar to the top of the chicken pieces and pour the wine around the casserole dish.


Bake the chicken for about 45-1 hour; if you are using chicken with bones it will take a little longer.


Drain off the juices from the chicken, strain, and put into a small saucepan and boil for a few minutes to reduce; serve this along side your chicken to pour over the couscous or mashed potatoes.


Yum. You can serve rice or mashed potatoes if you don’t like couscous.

Chicken Marbella
A briny-sweet marinade makes this one great dinner dish.
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  1. 2 chickens,3-4 lbs. each, quartered (I used all boneless thighs)
  2. 1/2 c. olive
  3. 1/2 c. red wine vinegar
  4. 1 c. prunes
  5. 1/2 c. pitted Spanish green olives
  6. 1/2 c. capers, with a bit of juice
  7. 6 bay leaves
  8. 1 head garlic, peeled and pureed
  9. 1/2 c. fresh oregano, chopped or 1/4 c. dried oregano
  10. 2 tsp. salt
  11. 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  12. 1 c. dry white wine
  13. 1 c. brown sugar
  14. 2 Tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  1. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan; spoon the marinade over it evenly. Pour in the wine and sprinkle the chicken with the brown sugar.
  3. Bake until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow juice when pricked with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes, basting two or three times with the pan juices once the chicken begins to brown. (When basting, do not brush off the sugar. If the chicken browns too quickly, cover lightly with foil.)
  4. Transfer the chicken pieces to a warm serving platter and top with the prunes, olives and capers; keep warm. Place the roasting pan over medium heat and bring the pan juices to a boil. Reduce to about 1/2 cup. Strain into a heatproof bowl, add the parsley and pour over the chicken.
Adapted from Silver Palate
Adapted from Silver Palate
Rosemary and the Goat https://rosemaryandthegoat.com/

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  • Reply
    San West
    December 7, 2016 at 7:14 am

    This was wonderful at the luncheon. I am inspired. Thanks, Sherry.

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