Chicken Marbella - Crockpot And "Regular"

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Post Tue, Nov 29 2022, 4:38 pm
Interesting as I have been making Chicken Marbella as an easy chicken recipe for years. Everyone likes it and so it is one of my fall backs when I am too lazy to cull through my "try out" list.

I never knew it had a specific Jewish connection but since the recipe originated in the Silver Palate takeout shop on the Upper West Side I guess its earliest shoppers were disproportionately Jewish given the demographics of Riverside Drive and West End Avenue at the time.

Here is the blurb linking the original recipe to Jewish tradition

While the name might suggest a Spanish origin, Chicken Marbella actually traces its history back to New York City's Jewish population in the 1970s; this was and still is a classic Shabbat dinner designed to amaze and relax everyone at the table. The fatty, savory chicken thighs are braised in a tangy, sweet, and aromatic sauce infused with the rich floral flavor of plums. Served over tender couscous and with a meaty, sparklingly bright wine sauce, Chicken Marbella is how you really begin a weekend!

At any rate I was sent a crockpot version of the recipe which I haven't tried but I'll post it - the flavor profile seems very similar to the original recipe which is excellent and which I have cooked and eaten and served on multiple occasions.

Original Recipe from Silver Palate

Chicken Marbella

16 pieces, 10 or more portions


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 chickens (2 1/2 pounds each), quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or fresh cilantro, 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. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.

4. Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, until the thigh pieces yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice when pricked with a fork, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

5. 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 or cilantro. Pass the remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

Note: To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in the cooking juices before transferring the pieces to a serving platter. If the chicken has been covered and refrigerated, reheat it in the juices, then allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over the chicken. This is a cheap and healthy dish

Crockpot Version

1 cup pitted green olives, divided
1 cup pitted dried plums (prunes), divided
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
couscous, cooked, hot


In a food processor, place 1/2 cup olives, 1/2 cup prunes, the oregano, brown sugar, capers, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and process until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a 4-quart slow cooker.

Place the chicken in the slow cooker.

Cook, covered, on low until the chicken is tender, about 4-5 hours.

Chop the remaining olives and prunes.

Transfer the chicken from the slow cooker and keep warm.

Stir the chicken broth, parsley, wine, lemon juice, chopped olives, and chopped prunes into the olive sauce mixture in the slow cooker, until warmed through.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and couscous.
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