This classic recipe is a delicious nod to the “Silver Palate Cookbook” from the late Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso and was THE ‘go-to’ party recipe in the ’80s.  

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Sweet, tangy, and briny from the capers, the moist chicken is nestled in between juicy prunes and salty olives.  It is the perfect blend of salty, savory, and sweet. Plus. It’s equally good served warm with the reduced pan juices, room temperature, or cold.  

A classic recipe for marinated chicken in olive oil, oregano, garic, prunes, capers, red wine, and white wine. A delicious recipe from 'The Silver Palate' Cookbook

The Silver Palate cookbook was the very first cookbook that I ever bought, and still own and use the same one to this day.  Every home cook should own a copy of this wonderful book. The chicken Marbella recipe is one of many that I have made over and over again.

It is also the recipe that I made for a special date with the man who would become my husband.  He claimed it was the amazing, tender chicken with the fruit that pushed him over the edge.

I can’t verify the validity of his claim, but I can say that every time I have served this classic recipe, everyone loved it and usually requested the recipe. 


As flavorful and delicious as this classic recipe is, it is also surprisingly easy.

You make a marinade, then soak the chicken in the marinade overnight.  This makes a big difference to the final product. The marinade adds flavor deep into the meat and retains the chicken’s moisture.

The next day, the dish is baked, basted with the marinade, until it is fall off the bone tender.  

The final step is to reduce the pan juices into a glistening sauce and spoon over the chicken, prunes, capers, and herbs.  

Then just enjoy.

A classic recipe for marinated chicken in olive oil, oregano, garic, prunes, capers, red wine, and white wine. A delicious recipe from 'The Silver Palate' Cookbook


I like to serve it with my recipe for Basic Biryani Rice and these Easy Sugar Snap Peas.  Include some crusty French bread to sop up the sauce and you have an incredibly satisfying and delicious meal that is sure to please anyone you serve this meal.

Please consider these recipes as well to compliment your meal:

If you have the time and inclination, butcher your own chicken.  It is cheaper and you get to keep the leftover ‘bits’ for stock. Here is a great ‘how-to’ video:

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A classic recipe for marinated chicken in olive oil, oregano, garic, prunes, capers, red wine, and white wine. A delicious recipe from 'The Silver Palate' Cookbook


  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus marinating time
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x


A classic recipe for marinated chicken with prunes, capers, and spices in a sweet, savory, and tangy sauce.



2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons minced garlic

½ cup olive oil

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 cup pitted prunes, left whole

½ cup pimento-stuffed Spanish olives

½ cup capers with ½ cup caper juice

6 bay leaves

¼ cup dried oregano

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 (3.5-4 pound) chickens, backbone removed and chicken cut into pieces

1 cup dry white wine

¾ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


In a large bowl, add the salt and garlic.  Using the back of a large spoon, mash the garlic into the salt until it is a paste.

Whisk in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, prunes, olives, capers with the juice, the bay leaves, oregano, and pepper.

Add the chicken and stir to coat all pieces with the marinade.  Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

Arrange the chicken, skin side up, in a shallow 9×13-inch roasting dish.  Pour the marinade, prunes, capers, and spices over the chicken.

Pour in the wine and sprinkle the brown sugar over the chicken.

Bake, basting all of the chicken several times until the thickest part of the thigh is tender and juices run clear – about 50 to 60 minutes.  

Remove the pan from the oven.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a serving platter and top with the prunes, olives, and capers.  Tent with foil to keep warm.

Pour the pan juices into a saucepan.  Bring the juices to a boil over medium heat.  Simmer and allow the sauce to reduce to about ½ cup.  Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and pour over the chicken.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Classic recipes, chicken recipes, dinner party recipes, marinated chicken

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