Chicken Marbella

We eat a lot of chicken around here and I must admit that I prefer white meat over dark. Hubby Tom is just the opposite – he will choose a chicken leg or thigh over white meat any day. If a chicken breast recipe garners compliments from across the table at my house then I know it has to be a winner. When you look at the list of ingredients in this recipe you are going to think I have lost my mind! It’s an unlikely list of characters including green olives, oregano, capers, garlic, brown sugar and prunes. I know what you are thinking but trust me on this one. It’s a dish that packs a lot of bold flavors both sweet and savory. The chicken is moist and tender, the sauce is sweet, salty and tart!

 The recipe shared here is a healthy version of the wildly popular Chicken Marbella recipe created by The Silver Pallet Cookbook author Sheila Lukin’s back in the early 80’s. Apparently after that cookbook came out this dish was popular on the home entertaining scene. I was a new bride back then (okay I’m dating myself here) and our meals were revolving around a tight food budget and a Midwestern menu. The first time I heard of this recipe was several years ago when I stumbled upon this healthier version. When I put it on the table back then it was not well received by the family. I don’t recall all the comments that were made but I seemed to be the only one who thought it was amazing. At that time it didn’t make the cut into the regular menu rotation. Fast forward to now and the fact that we are empty nesters and  I need only concern myself with pleasing the two of us at dinner time. With that in mind I decided to give this recipe a second try. This recipe will be going on our menu again! If you prefer dark meat go ahead and use some boneless skinless thighs as well. The next time I make this recipe I’m going to double it and add some thighs for hubby Tom.

Chicken Marbella

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
  • 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup drained capers


1.Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.Combine wine, broth, prunes, brown sugar, vinegar, olives, garlic, oil and oregano in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.Place chicken breasts in a large shallow baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken, turning to coat. Scatter capers over the top. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Information

Per serving : 322 Calories; 7 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 66 mg Cholesterol; 30 g Carbohydrates; 28 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 503 mg Sodium; 531 mg Potassium WWPP 8

Serving Suggestions; serve with brown rice or couscous to soak up some of the delicious sauce. It reheats beautifully and is just as delicious the second day.

Nutmeg Notes

The count down is on – at this time tomorrow my foot surgery will be over! I won’t lie, there is some anxiety brewing about having surgery, pain and the long recovery time. That’s just normal. Mostly I hate that I won’t be able to drive! Usually home is my favorite place to be but when I know I can’t get out and go somewhere it makes me want to go all the more!

Mind Over Matter

I’ve been listening to a guided imagery Successful Surgery CD by Belleruth Naparstek  that was made just for surgery patients. In a double blind study patients who listened to this cd had reduced bleeding, required less pain medication and had shorter recovery times. The studies were conducted at the Cleveland Clinic, UC Davis Medical Center and with Blue Shield of CA. This guided meditation helps integrate the mind and body to create the best chance of healing. If my surgeon will allow it I will be listening to this during surgery as well. A few of my friends have used this CD prior, during and after having surgery and all had remarkable recoveries. At the very least it helps with anxiety and that in itself has multiple health benefits.

I have a collection of Belleruth CD’s that I have meant to post about but have never gotten around to it. A friend of mine who is in the mental health field, first introduced me to guided imagery several years ago and Belleruth Naparstek in particular. One of my favorites is Healthful Sleep which we listen to often at bedtime. I have it on my iPhone to use when we travel. It helps to slow down the night time chatter and clears my mind so I can achieve a restful sleep.

Another good one is for Weight Loss, which is not a miracle weight loss tool or a replacement for good healthy habits but it helps keep my mind in the right place so I can continue to make the right choices. If you click on the links you can listen to audio samples which is very important to do if you are considering purchasing any guided imagery CD’s. You must like the voice you hear or you won’t want to listen to it. Hubby and I happen to like Belleruth’s voice but I know people who don’t care for her so please review the audio before buying! Also I prefer to purchase the CD’s as the MP3 downloading on that website is dreadful and very difficult to navigate.

Family and friends are volunteering to do all kinds of things for me in the coming days and weeks. Life is good. 🙂 Look for a post surgery update on the Nutmeg Notebook facebook page tomorrow afternoon.  Although there won’t be a lot of cooking going on I’m sure I’ll find something to blog about.

Thank you for all the well wishes and prayers for my foot surgery and recovery. I feel the LOVE!



Disclaimer: I was not given any CD’s for free nor was I asked to write a review. The CD’s listed here were purchased by me and the reviews are my own thoughts. I have no business affiliation with Belleruth Naparstek nor will I profit in anyway if you purchase something from the Health Journey’s website. Nutmeg Notebook is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect the author’s experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician.

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  1. Linda says:

    This is my favorite recipe. I usually make 2 versions, Southern Living & Silver Palate. Can’t wait to try yours Tamie!

    1. Tami says:

      Come back and let me know what you think of this recipe Linda!

  2. Helen says:

    All the best with your surgery tomorrow – I’m glad this is finally happening as I see it as the first step to you being completely recovered and over this whole darn foot thing!

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Helen – it’s the beginning of the end of this foot nonsense!

  3. margie says:

    Best wishes for your big day! Think happy thoughts. Keep us posted. Follow the doctors orders and don’t push it.
    This recipe looks interesting, I’ll trust you on this one! I’ll let you know the outcome!

    1. Tami says:

      Oh Margie, you sound just like my mom! That’s a compliment as she is a doll and has also been telling me to not overdo it. I’m sure my foot will let me know when I’ve been up and about too much. Trust me if you like the individual flavors of the ingredients in this dish you are likely to enjoy the finished product. Let me know.

  4. Jane says:

    Good luck!!! The chicken sounds really good 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Jane! This is a company worthy dish – I hope you give it a try.

  5. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    I have never heard of this chicken dish…but I think I would like it. Love sweet and savory. My Korean SIL makes a beef dish that uses prunes, and it is amazing! I used to be a white meat only kind of girl, but I seem to be coming around. I do like chicken thighs in certain dishes…there was a time I wouldn’t touch them if you paid me to! haha

    Good luck tomorrow. My thoughts and prayers will be with you, my friend!! xxoo

    1. Tami says:

      Who knew how good prunes would be in a meat dish? I do like chicken thighs that hubby cooks on the BBQ but I still prefer white meat. I just hate to deal with removing all the fat from the thighs before cooking them!

      Thank you for the prayers Renee – I feel the love my friend. 🙂

  6. Dr. J says:

    I’m sure it will all go well, Tami!

  7. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    Thinking of you, Tami, and sending you wishes for a speedy recovery!

  8. Laura says:

    I have to say, Tami, I’m going to have to give that recipe a little more thought–Spanish green olives & prunes?? 😉

    By now you’ve had your surgery. Sure hope you’re doing well!

  9. Emily says:

    This sounds delicious. Has anyone tried it in a slow cooker? Do you think it would work, Tami?

    1. Tami says:

      I have not tried it in the slow cooker but when I was researching this recipe I came across some slow cooker versions. The only thing I would worry about is the chicken breasts used in the recipe I posted becoming too dry in the slow cooker. So I would start with frozen chicken boneless if adapting the recipe I posted to a slow cooker. This link to a slow cooker recipe uses thighs and drumsticks http://www.womansday.com/recipefinder/slow-cooker-chicken-marbella-recipe-122895

      Hope this helps Emily. Happy Cooking!

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