Chicken Marbella

My authentic recipe for Chicken Marbella is a dinner party favourite! This simple one-skillet chicken dinner calls for unusual ingredients like plums, capers, olives, and brown sugar which turn into a sweet-and-savory sauce!overhead shot of Spanish Chicken Marbella baked in a white casserole dish

OH LORD! This recipe for Chicken Marbella… It’s probably the best thing that ever happened to chicken drumsticks in my kitchen yet. And I mean it.

I realize that I always say that when I post a new recipe. It’s always the best/my favorite recipe yet. I can’t help it, I’m always enthusiastic when it comes to good food. So let’s clarify my statement. Chicken Marbella is the best sweet and savory chicken drumstick recipe I’ve made so far.

Oh, wait! Maybe I should start with this: What’s Chicken Marbella? Thanks for asking!

Well, chicken Marbella is a Spanish inspired chicken dish made with prunes, olives, capers (don’t worry, you can leave them out!), white wine, sugar (or honey!) and other ingredients.

The chicken drumsticks are then marinated overnight which makes it uber flavorful! (did I just use the word uber? Gosh, I think I need a nap).

Chicken Marbella made with chicken drumsticks served in a casserole dish with olives, prunes and capers nestled in between the chicken pieces

Some people out there are not fans of sweet and savory combinations, I know that. Others are grossed out by prunes. Obviously, these folks won’t get excited by this Chicken Marbella recipe, but that’s all right, I can take it.

There’s another category of people who think they won’t like this combination going on in my Chicken Marbella recipe. Because let’s face it, prunes paired with olives and capers? That can be unusual and weird for some palates.

I suggest we trick them.

Example: you invite some friends over for a Spanish-themed dinner party and you don’t tell them what you’ll make. Once they tried – and obviously loved your Chicken Marbella – TADA you tell them what’s actually in there and boom we have new believers.

I love this trick method because it always works! If you’re still reading, I guess I don’t need to convince you, right? So let’s get on with this Chicken Marbella!

Chicken Marbella served in a white casserole olives and prunes nestled in between the chicken drumsticks

If you tried this recipe for Chicken Marbella, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

Chicken Marbella -
5 from 3 votes

Chicken Marbella

My authentic recipe for Spanish Chicken Marbella is a dinner party favourite! This simple one-skillet baked chicken dinner calls for unusual ingredients like plums, capers, olives, and brown sugar which turn into a sweet and savoury gravy that goes so well with the chicken drumsticks!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword #chickenrecipe, baked, capers, chicken, dinner, dinner party, easy, olives, prunes, skillet, Spanish
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 526 kcal


For the marinade

  • 6 large chicken drumsticks
  • 3/4 cup prunes halved
  • 3/4 cup pimiento stuffed olives halved
  • 2 tbsp capers with brine
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano

To bake:

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar coconut sugar or honey for paleo
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped - to serve (optional)


For the marinade:

  1. The night before, prepare the marinade. In a large ziplock bag, combine all marinade ingredients (chicken, prunes, olives, capers, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano), shake well to make sure the chicken is well coated and all the ingredients are equally distributed. Marinate overnight.

For baking:

  1. Preheat oven to 380F. Arrange chicken in a baking dish and cover with marinade. 

  2. Pour wine around chicken and sprinkle it with brown sugar (or honey if using). Bake between one hour and one hour and a half (depending on your oven) or until chicken is cooked through (it took me 1:20 to get it done)

  3. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Recipe Notes

Hey, don't be afraid of the capers! If that's not your thing, just leave them out.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Marbella
Amount Per Serving (2 drumstick with sauce)
Calories 526 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 139mg 46%
Sodium 848mg 35%
Potassium 708mg 20%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 22g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 13%
Vitamin C 3.2%
Calcium 7%
Iron 11.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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posted in
Chicken Dairy Free Gluten free Main Dishes Meat Paleo Paleo/Primal Recipes
  1. Even though I’m not a fan of olives, I’m willing to try this – including the olives. However, the one thing I can’t bring myself to do is use chicken drumsticks – so I hope it would work with white meat.

    1. I’ve never tried with white meat, I’m not sure it would work. The long cooking time is an important part of the recipe (it allows the flavors to develop) and you would need to reduce it a lot if you’re using white meat. If you still decide to give it a go I would love to know if it worked or not!

  2. I have made this with the drumsticks and it is awesome.
    Tonight, due to having had gum surgery and needing soft food. I made it with frozen turkey meatballs. I added a can of salt free petite diced tomatoes, cooked it at 375 for I hour and served over quinoa. MAGNIFICENT!!!

  3. Hi Marie,
    I’m living in Marbella and have been looking for an updated version of the original Silver Palate Chicken Marbella recipe to serve to friends here who’ve never heard of it – it bypassed both London and Marbella first time round in the 1980s! The original called for 4 whole chickens in portions which is a bit unmanageable for a domestic kitchen. I haven’t cooked it yet but your version sounds delicious, and much easier to make than the original, while remaining authentic. I’ll cook it exactly as per your recipe first time but may replace prunes with more traditional dried figs and balsamic with a Spanish Rioja vinegar if I cook it for Spanish friends. Many thanks,

  4. I might be the exception here, but I still gotta say that I LOVE the sound of these ingredients! But then again, I am a sweet and savoury kinda girl!

  5. Thank you!
    It’s fabulous as is, or with thighs, or legs.
    I think it needs both skin, and bone which I enhanced with the long marinade.
    Dates also work instead of prunes…

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