Skip to content

Chicken Marbella on Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  I hope all mothers had a fantastic day and were pampered accordingly.

For dinner, the family met at my sister’s house on the beach, and we had a wonderful dinner of Chicken Marbella with crazy ingredients that are magic in your mouth;  Zucchini Spaghetti sautéed with sliced Vidalia onion, garlic and cherry tomatoes and a delightful Arugula and Pear Salad.

But my day started with a trip to the market to pick up some flowers to give to “stranger” moms.  See my April 27th post to catch the gist. I have to tell you that this year it feels like my mom has been hanging nearby.  She has definitely been looking over me recently, I can just feel her presence.   To celebrate her, I bought five bouquets this year.

I gave the first bouquet to a postal worker who was out delivering packages (one a Sunday).  I told her as well as the others, “My mom is no longer with us so for me to celebrate her, I wanted to give you these flowers.”  The next mom was putting suitcases in a car in a parking lot, and the final three were enjoying a bagel breakfast with their young kids.  They all looked at me with a mix of shock and joy.  I got five of the best hugs from women/mothers I will never see again but told me, “I made their day.”  What they don’t know is that they made mine.


The original recipe calls for using two whole chickens, but I only used chicken breasts because that is what my family likes. So the recipe is modified accordingly.


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 3/4 cup pitted large Spanish green olives
  • 3/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 9 bay leaves
  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled and finely pureed
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 chicken breasts (10 pounds) with bone- and skin-on (DO NOT USE boneless/skinless)*
  • 1  cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, finely chopped


1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat.

2. Arrange the chicken breasts, bone-side down in a single layer in a large, shallow baking pan (like a lasagna pan) and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (12-18 hours ).  In the morning, flip the chicken over so bone-side is up.

chicken marbella

3. About 40 minutes before the chicken goes in the oven, bring it out of the refrigerator so that it is not “fridge” cold when going into the oven.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

5. Return breasts to bone-side down.  Spoon marinade including olives, bay leaves, prunes and capers over breasts. Sprinkle the each breast with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.

6. Bake, frequently basting with the pan juices until the breasts yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.  The thicker the breast, the longer it will take, sometimes as long as 90 minutes.

7. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

 Serves 6 (with leftovers) or 8
chicken marbella


1) This recipe is modified from the original increasing marinade, using only breasts and marinading in the pan.

2) The chicken breasts will be dry without bones and skin. Trust me.  We tried it, and it was not good.  You can remove both once it is cooked.


Reprinted from The Silver Palate Cookbook, by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso, Copyright © 2007, published by Workman Publishing Company.

chicken marbella


Download the recipe here: Chicken Marbella


I will share the Zucchini and Salad recipes another day.  They were great as well.

And lastly, dinner with my family (except for one sister who lives up north) was wonderful.  As one of my sister’s said, “today made me very grateful that mom did such a good job raising her children to not only love each other but to like each other too…”

On that note.




SHOP Decorative Throw Pillows

One Comment

  1. Lauren

    OK that recipe looks amazing, but what an incredible idea about the mothers day bouquets! Love it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.