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Recipe: Chicken Marbella


This recipe is modified from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Simple, and inspired by a similar recipe in the classic cookbook, The Silver Palate. Although The Silver Palate was always kicking around my mother’s kitchen when I was a child, the first time I remember having Chicken Marbella, was at a friend’s house in my 30’s. It blew me away! Of course, Ottolenghi somehow steps it up a notch, and in such a simple way!


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up into pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 C fresh oregano leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 C pitted green olives
  • 6 teaspoon capers
  • 120g Medjool dates (~6-8), pitted and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon date molasses (or standard molasses)


  1. Piece the chicken (following your How to Piece a Chicken Guide this videoor , for example.
  2. Place then chicken in a large nonreactive bowl and add the garlic, oregano, vinegar, olive oil, capers, dates, bay leaves, along with 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper.
  3. Gently mix everything together, cover the bowl, and leave in the fridge to marinate for 1-2 days, stirring a few times.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  5. Spread out the chicken parts on a medium high-sided baking pan, along with all the marinade. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over the meat.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, basting 2-3 times, until the meat is golden brown on top and cooked through.
  7. Remove from oven, transfer everything (every last drop!) to a platter, sprinkle with more oregano and serve.


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