Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe

Imagine a dish that perfectly captures the essence of summer. A dish that combines the hearty taste of chicken with the fruity sweetness of plums and apricots, the tang of olives and capers, and the warmth of oregano. A dish that is as delightful to taste as it is to look at. Here it is! The Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe, a classic dish reimagined for the season of sun and fun.

Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe
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Photos of Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe

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While most of the ingredients in this recipe are fairly common, there are a few that you might need to seek out. For instance, you may not have capers in brine or dried apricots at home. These can be easily found in the international or gourmet section of most supermarkets. Also, make sure to choose ripe, juicy plums for the best flavor.

Ingredients for Summer Chicken Marbella

Chicken thighs: These are used for their rich flavor and tenderness. Chicken drumsticks: These add variety to the texture and taste of the dish. Garlic: It provides a robust base flavor. Dried oregano: This herb adds depth to the taste profile. Red plums: These add a sweet tartness. Dried Apricot: These lend a sweet and tangy flavor. Red wine vinegar: It's used to balance the sweetness of the fruit. Olive oil: It helps to bind all the flavors together. Green olives: These contribute a salty, briny flavor. Capers in brine: These add a sharp tanginess. Bay leaves: They infuse the dish with a subtle earthiness. Brown sugar: It helps to caramelize the chicken skin. Rosé wine: This adds a fruity and slightly acidic flavor. Couscous: It serves as a bed for the chicken and soaks up the flavorful sauce. Basil: This herb adds a fresh finish to the dish.

One reader, Kaitlin Bond says:

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This summer chicken marbella recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are a delightful blend of sweet and savory, and the chicken turns out so tender and juicy. The combination of plums, apricots, and olives creates a unique and delicious sauce. It's a perfect dish for a summer gathering or a special family dinner. Highly recommended!

Kaitlin Bond

Key Techniques for Mastering Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe

How to marinate the chicken: Rub the pureed garlic and oregano all over the chicken to coat evenly and then marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. How to bake the chicken: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, then bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into a chicken thigh, near the bone, reads 160 degrees F. How to let the chicken rest: After removing from the oven, let the chicken rest for 10 minutes to allow the residual heat to bring the internal temperature to 165 degrees F. How to serve: Serve the chicken and sauce over couscous and garnish with the basil.

How To Make Summer Chicken Marbella

To add some twist to a classic dish, this chicken marbella recipe is rife with the flavors of summer- plums, olives, garlic, capers, and apricots.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Marinate Time: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 50 minutes



  • lbschicken thighs,bone-in skin-on
  • lbschicken drumsticks,bone-in skin-on
  • 2tspkosher salt
  • 1headgarlic,peeled and pureed or grated
  • 3tbspdried oregano,divided
  • 3red plums,pitted and quartered
  • ¾cupdried apricot
  • cupred wine vinegar
  • cupolive oil
  • 1cupgreen olives,such as Castelvetrano
  • ½cupcapers in brine
  • 3dried bay leaves
  • cuplight brown sugar
  • cupdry rosé wine
  • 6cupscouscous,cooked for serving
  • cupfresh basil,thinly sliced


  1. Season the chicken thighs and drumsticks all over with the salt. Using hands, rub the pureed garlic and 1 tablespoon of oregano all over the chicken to coat evenly.

  2. In a 9×13-inch glass baking dish, mix together the plums, apricots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, green olives, capers, remaining 2 tablespoons of oregano, and bay leaves.

  3. Add the chicken to the baking dish and turn to coat, then turn so the skin side is facing up. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  5. While the oven preheats, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.

  6. Using a paper towel, pat the chicken skin to remove any excess moisture.

  7. Sprinkle the chicken skin with the brown sugar. Pour the rosé around the chicken, but avoid pouring directly onto the skin.

  8. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into a chicken thigh, near the bone, reads 160 degrees F and the skin is golden brown.

  9. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. During this time, the residual heat from cooking will bring the internal temperature of the chicken to 165 degrees F.

  10. Serve the chicken and sauce over couscous and garnish with the basil.

  11. Enjoy!


  • Calories: 1367.82kcal
  • Fat: 45.85g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.26g
  • Trans Fat: 0.15g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 23.34g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.23g
  • Carbohydrates: 169.87g
  • Fiber: 12.24g
  • Sugar: 28.02g
  • Protein: 63.33g
  • Cholesterol: 215.46mg
  • Sodium: 1270.72mg
  • Calcium: 144.08mg
  • Potassium: 1105.34mg
  • Iron: 5.37mg
  • Vitamin A: 87.34µg
  • Vitamin C: 6.87mg

Expert Technique Tip for Elevating Summer Chicken Marbella

When marinating the chicken, ensure that all pieces are evenly coated with the marinade for optimal flavor. Turning the chicken pieces in the marinade a few times during the marinating process can help achieve this. Also, patting the chicken dry before baking helps to achieve a crispy, golden-brown skin. Remember, the key to a flavorful and juicy chicken is a good, long marination, so don't rush this process.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Summer Chicken Marbella

Prep ahead: Marinate the chicken and prepare the ingredients the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use pre-cut ingredients: Opt for pre-cut vegetables and fruits to minimize prep time and make the cooking process more efficient.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a single pot or pan for cooking multiple components of the dish to reduce cleanup time.

Organize your workspace: Arrange all the ingredients and utensils in an organized manner before starting to cook to avoid any last-minute confusion.

Multi-task: Look for opportunities to multitask, such as preparing side dishes while the main dish is cooking, to save time in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe

  • chicken thighs - Substitute with turkey thighs: Turkey thighs can be used as a substitute for chicken thighs in this recipe, providing a similar texture and flavor profile.

  • chicken drumsticks - Substitute with turkey drumsticks: Turkey drumsticks can be used as a substitute for chicken drumsticks, offering a similar taste and texture when cooked.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme can be used as a substitute for dried oregano, providing a slightly different flavor profile while still complementing the dish.

  • red plums - Substitute with nectarines: Nectarines can be used as a substitute for red plums, offering a similar sweet and tangy flavor to the dish.

  • dried apricot - Substitute with dried peaches: Dried peaches can be used as a substitute for dried apricots, providing a similar sweet and chewy texture to the recipe.

  • red wine vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute for red wine vinegar, providing a slightly milder and fruitier flavor to the dish.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil can be used as a substitute for olive oil, offering a neutral flavor and high smoke point for cooking.

  • green olives - Substitute with kalamata olives: Kalamata olives can be used as a substitute for green olives, providing a rich and tangy flavor to the recipe.

  • capers in brine - Substitute with sliced green olives: Sliced green olives can be used as a substitute for capers in brine, offering a similar briny and tangy flavor to the dish.

  • light brown sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar can be used as a substitute for light brown sugar, providing a similar sweetness with a hint of caramel flavor.

  • dry rosé wine - Substitute with dry white wine: Dry white wine can be used as a substitute for dry rosé wine, offering a light and crisp flavor to the recipe.

  • couscous - Substitute with quinoa: Quinoa can be used as a substitute for couscous, providing a similar texture and nutty flavor to the dish.

  • fresh basil - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can be used as a substitute for fresh basil, offering a slightly different herbaceous flavor to the recipe.

Presentation Tips for a Stunning Summer Chicken Dish

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting this summer chicken marbella, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing plate. Use white plates to make the colors of the dish pop, and arrange the chicken, couscous, and sauce in a way that is visually striking.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Add a touch of freshness and color to the dish by garnishing with freshly chopped basil. This will not only enhance the visual appeal but also add a burst of flavor to the dish.

  3. Incorporate texture: Consider adding a crunchy element to the dish, such as a sprinkle of toasted almonds or pine nuts over the chicken and couscous. This will provide a delightful contrast in texture.

  4. Balance the components: Pay attention to the placement of the plums, apricots, and olives to ensure a harmonious balance of flavors and colors on the plate.

  5. Use negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the dish to breathe. Avoid overcrowding and let the components stand out on their own.

  6. Create a sauce swirl: Drizzle the flavorful sauce around the edge of the plate in a circular motion, adding an artistic touch to the presentation.

  7. Consider the couscous: Instead of simply spooning the couscous onto the plate, consider using a ring mold to create a neat, cylindrical shape for an elevated presentation.

  8. Attention to detail: Pay attention to the finer details, such as wiping any sauce smudges from the rim of the plate, ensuring a clean and polished presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Summer Chicken Marbella

  • Cutting board: A flat, sturdy surface used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Chef's knife: A versatile, all-purpose knife used for chopping, slicing, and dicing.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential for accurately measuring ingredients for recipes.
  • Baking dish: A glass or ceramic dish used for baking and roasting dishes in the oven.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking, roasting, and heating food.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining ingredients and mixing batters and doughs.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients.
  • Tongs: Used for flipping, turning, and serving food while cooking.
  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a handle, used for making sauces and heating liquids.
  • Baking sheet: A flat, metal pan used for baking cookies, pastries, and other baked goods.
  • Meat thermometer: Used to check the internal temperature of meat for doneness.
  • Plastic wrap: Used for covering and sealing food for marinating or storing.
  • Paper towels: Used for drying and patting food items, as well as cleaning up spills.
  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Garlic press: A tool used for crushing and mincing garlic cloves.
  • Spatula: A kitchen tool with a broad, flat blade, used for lifting and flipping food items.
  • Strainer: Used for draining and rinsing ingredients such as pasta and vegetables.
  • Skillet: A frying pan with a flat bottom and sloped sides, used for sautéing and frying.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for Summer Chicken Marbella

  • Let the chicken marbella cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Transfer the cooled chicken and sauce to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.
  • If storing in the refrigerator, consume within 3-4 days for best quality and taste.
  • When freezing, remove as much air as possible from the container or bag to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy identification.
  • Freeze the chicken marbella for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat, thaw the frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Place the thawed chicken and sauce in a baking dish, cover with foil, and reheat in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven until heated through (about 20-30 minutes).
  • Alternatively, reheat individual portions in the microwave, stirring the sauce occasionally to ensure even heating.
  • If the sauce appears too thick after thawing or reheating, add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin it out.
  • Serve the reheated chicken marbella over freshly cooked couscous and garnish with fresh basil for the best flavor and presentation.

How To Reheat Leftover Summer Chicken Marbella

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover chicken in a baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). This method helps to retain the moisture in the chicken and keeps the skin crispy.

  • If you prefer a quicker method, you can use the microwave. Place the leftover chicken on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the chicken, as it can become dry and tough.

  • For a stovetop method, place the leftover chicken in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to the pan to help keep the chicken moist. Cover the skillet with a lid and heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.

  • If you want to add some extra flavor to your reheated chicken, you can brush it with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and herbs before reheating. This will give the chicken a fresh, aromatic taste.

  • When reheating the couscous, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and add a splash of water or chicken broth. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the couscous is heated through. Fluff the couscous with a fork before serving.

  • To reheat the sauce, place it in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sauce is heated through. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin it out.

Interesting Trivia About Summer Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella is a classic dish that originated from the Silver Palate Cookbook. It was created by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso in the late 1970s and has since become a beloved recipe for its unique combination of sweet and savory flavors.

Budget-Friendly: Is Summer Chicken Marbella Economical for Home Cooking?

The cost-effectiveness of this summer chicken marbella recipe largely depends on the availability and cost of ingredients in your area. While chicken thighs and drumsticks are generally affordable, the inclusion of plums, dried apricots, and capers may increase the overall cost. However, the dish serves 4 people and provides a flavorful and satisfying meal. Considering the quality and variety of ingredients, I would rate this recipe an 8 out of 10 for taste and versatility. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people may range from $25 to $30, making it a reasonable option for a special family dinner.

Is Summer Chicken Marbella Healthy or Unhealthy?

The summer chicken marbella recipe is a delightful blend of flavors, but it may not be the healthiest option due to a few ingredients and cooking methods. Here's a breakdown of the recipe's health aspects:

  • Chicken thighs and drumsticks: While these cuts are flavorful, they are higher in fat compared to leaner options like chicken breast.
  • Olive oil: Although olive oil is a healthy fat, the recipe uses a significant amount, which can increase the overall calorie count.
  • Brown sugar: The addition of brown sugar contributes to the dish's sweetness but also adds extra calories and carbohydrates.
  • Dried fruits: Plums and apricots provide some nutrients, but they also contain concentrated sugars.
  • Positive aspects: The recipe includes garlic, oregano, and basil, which offer various health benefits and antioxidants.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for skinless chicken thighs or replace some of the thighs with chicken breast to reduce the fat content
  • Reduce the amount of olive oil used, or replace some of it with a lower-calorie cooking spray
  • Decrease the amount of brown sugar, or substitute it with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup
  • Increase the proportion of fresh vegetables in the dish, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes, to boost the nutrient content and add more fiber
  • Serve the chicken with a side of leafy greens or a fresh salad instead of couscous to lower the overall carbohydrate content

Editor's Opinion: Why Summer Chicken Marbella Is a Must-Try

The Summer Chicken Marbella recipe is a delightful blend of savory and sweet flavors, creating a harmonious dish that is perfect for warm weather dining. The marinade infuses the chicken with rich, aromatic notes, while the plums, apricots, and olives add a burst of sweetness and tanginess. The dish is beautifully balanced, and the couscous provides a perfect base for soaking up the delicious sauce. This recipe is a wonderful choice for a summer gathering, offering a unique and flavorful twist on traditional chicken dishes.

Enhance Your Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Create a creamy and flavorful side dish by roasting garlic and mixing it into mashed potatoes for a delicious accompaniment to the chicken marbella.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Thread a variety of colorful vegetables onto skewers and grill them to perfection for a vibrant and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with the flavorful chicken marbella.
Fruit Salad with Citrus Dressing: Toss together a refreshing fruit salad with a zesty citrus dressing to add a burst of freshness and sweetness to balance out the savory flavors of the chicken marbella.

Delicious Alternatives to Summer Chicken Marbella

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and your favorite herbs. Thread them onto skewers and grill until they are tender and slightly charred. Serve as a side dish or as a main course with a side of quinoa or couscous.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Season the beef short ribs with salt and pepper, then sear them in a hot pan until they are browned on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a Dutch oven and add in red wine, beef broth, onions, carrots, and herbs. Braise in the oven until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. Serve with mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.
Mango Coconut Panna Cotta: Combine coconut milk, sugar, and gelatin in a saucepan and heat until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Pour the mixture into ramekins and refrigerate until set. Top with a puree of fresh mango and a sprinkle of toasted coconut before serving. This creamy and tropical dessert is perfect for a summer treat.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Summer Chicken Marbella

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a mouthwatering appetizer by stuffing large mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a delicious start to any meal.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Whip up a batch of crispy zucchini fritters for a light and tasty appetizer. Grated zucchini is mixed with herbs and spices, then fried until golden brown and served with a side of creamy dipping sauce.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a dinner party or a romantic evening in.
Strawberry Shortcake: Savor the sweetness of juicy strawberries and fluffy whipped cream sandwiched between layers of tender shortcake. This classic dessert is a delightful way to celebrate the summer season.

Why trust this Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted classic, perfected over time by renowned chefs. The combination of chicken thighs, plums, and apricots creates a harmonious blend of sweet and savory flavors. The use of red wine vinegar and capers adds depth and complexity to the dish. The marinating process ensures that the chicken is infused with rich flavors, guaranteeing a delicious and tender result. With a balance of sweet and tangy elements, this recipe promises to delight the taste buds and elevate any summer meal.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the Summer Chicken Marbella Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum.
What is the best way to marinate the chicken for this recipe?
The best way to marinate the chicken is to season it with salt, rub it with pureed garlic and oregano, and then let it marinate in a mixture of plums, apricots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, green olives, capers, oregano, and bay leaves in the refrigerator overnight.
Can I use a different type of meat for this recipe?
Yes, you can use different types of meat such as chicken breasts or even pork. However, the cooking time may vary depending on the type of meat used.
Can I substitute the couscous with another grain?
Absolutely! You can substitute couscous with quinoa, rice, or any other grain of your choice. Just be sure to adjust the cooking method and time accordingly.
Can I prepare this dish in advance?
Yes, you can marinate the chicken in advance and store it in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to develop even more. You can also prepare the sauce and other ingredients ahead of time to save time on the day of cooking.
What can I serve with this dish besides couscous?
This dish pairs well with a variety of sides such as roasted vegetables, a fresh green salad, or even some crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. Feel free to get creative with your sides!

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