Mar 16

Chicken Marbella with prunes, capers & green olives

Recipe developed by Sam Linsell from Drizzle & Dip

“Chicken Marbella is the iconic eighties dinner party dish with prunes, capers and green olives made famous by The Silver Palate cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Briny green olives and capers come together with sweet prunes (or dates) to make the most delicious combination of flavours. Marinating the chicken overnight is essential to lock in the soft aromatics, but you could probably go to two nights here. Don’t skip this process. The texture of the chicken can alter when marinaded as I did with my recent chicken kebabs with yoghurt, paprika & lemon. The flavours penetrate the chicken flesh adding so much to the overall dish and a jerk chicken is not the same without this stage.”



4 chicken legs, drumstick and thigh attached (Maryland cut), skin on ( up to 1kg )

3 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

4 bay leaves

3 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

6 prunes, pitted and cut into quarters lengthways

2 Tbs capers

2 Tbsp caper brine

100gms pitted green olives (about ¾ cup)

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 Tbsp brown sugar

A few caperberries as garnish (optional) & fresh oregano leaves


Slash the chicken pieces in 3 places to the bone and place in a large Ziploc bag with all the other ingredients except the olives, the wine and sugar. Season with a little salt and pepper. Massage the bag to ensure all the ingredient are mixed and the chicken is well coated. Place in the fridge overnight.

Take the chicken out of the fridge about an hour before you cook it to bring it to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.

Arrange the chicken pieces snugly in an appropriately sized ovenproof dish with sides. Place the olives in and around the chicken pieces. Mix the brown sugar and white wine and mix to dissolve it as much as possible. Pour this over the chicken. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. If necessary, loosely cover with a piece of foil to prevent over-browning.

Remove from the oven and arrange on a serving platter. Scatter over a few oregano leaves or caperberries as garnish (optional).