How To Cook Chicken Marbella for A Big Crowd
This recipe uses boneless chicken thighs but includes instructions for classic bone-in Chicken Marbella if you prefer it that way. When I decided to serve Chicken Marbella at my New Years Eve party (dinner for 100) I adapted the recipe for boneless chicken because I think boneless chicken is more elegant and easier to manage for a big party.
Bone-in chicken is fine for a small sit-down dinner but for a buffet it can be clunky and it takes up a lot of room on a serving platter. Plus, it's tricky to cut chicken off the bone while you're socializing at a party, and especially challenging if you're balancing your plate on your lap or standing at a cocktail table while doing it.
In my mind there's no debate about whether to use thighs or breasts. Chicken thighs are my favorite. They're so much better and juicier than breasts, which dry out easily, while thighs are difficult to overcook. The original Silver Palate Chicken Marbella Recipe calls for 4 whole chickens, cut into quarters. I've been served Chicken Marbella that way for decades and I've cooked it that way myself, but I have to confess that I've always passed over the breasts and gone right for the thighs.
The Story Behind Chicken Marbella
How To Make Chicken Marbella
- Marinate The Chicken Overnight: Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl: ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup red wine vinegar, 1 ½ cups pitted prunes, ¾ cup pitted Spanish green olives, ½ cup capers, 6 bay leaves, 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and puréed (I use this garlic press), ¼ cup dried oregano, 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs and toss to mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it overnight.
- Bake: Arrange the chicken and all the marinade ingredients in two large shallow baking pans. Pour ½ cup of wine into each baking pan and sprinkle the chicken pieces evenly with the brown sugar. Bake the chicken for 45-50 minutes, until it's cooked through, basting once or twice with the pan juices.
- To serve, arrange the chicken on a serving platter and spoon the prunes, olives, capers and some of the juices evenly around. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve the extra sauce on the side.
What to serve with Chicken Marbella
- Latkes. For Hanukkah dinner we always serve Chicken Marbella with potato latkes
- Potatoes: Mashed Potatoes, Smashed Potatoes or roasted potatoes are all great with Chicken Marbella
- Rice: Plain white rice is a perfect accompaniment
- Salad: This green salad or this tricolore salad
- A Green Vegetable: Instead of a salad, serve steamed or roasted broccoli, asparagus or green beans on the side
Here's the Chicken Marbella Recipe. If you try this, I hope you'l come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think.Print
Chicken Marbella from The Silver Palate
This elegant Silver Palate Chicken Marbella recipe is the perfect dinner party dish. An easy dish to cook for a big group and the flavors are fantastically delicious.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ cups pitted prunes
- ¾ cup pitted Spanish green olives
- ½ cup capers (a 2-ounce jar), with 1 teaspoon of the juice
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and puréed (I use this garlic press)
- ¼ cup dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs (18 or so pieces)
- 1 cup dry white wine (Vermouth works well)
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
- In a large mixing bowl or plastic container, combine the oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, caper juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in two large shallow baking dishes and spoon all the marinade ingredients on and around the chicken. Pour half the wine into each baking pan, and then sprinkle the all chicken pieces evenly with the brown sugar.
- Bake the chicken for 45-50 minutes, or until it's cooked through, basting with the pan juices after 20 minutes.
- To serve, transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter and spoon the prunes, olives, capers and some of the sauce on and around the chicken pieces. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side. Chicken Marbella can be served at room temperature.
Make This with bone-in, skin-on chicken: To make this recipe with bone-in chicken, use '8-10 pounds of bone-in chicken parts' - thighs, drumsticks, breasts or any combination. Follow the recipe exactly as written only increase the cooking time to '50 minute to an hour' and baste 3 or 4 times while the chicken cooks, to keep it moist.
Prepare this ahead: Chicken Marbella can be made up to two days ahead and kept in the fridge. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving and spoon some of the juices over it.
Keywords: Recipe for Silver Palate Chicken Marbella, How to Make Chicken Marbella with boneless chicken thighs,