Chicken Marbella with Mashed Potatoes

One part Spanish, one part Morrocan, this chicken dish gained popularity in the eighties, among more adventurous cooks. The combination of prunes, olives and vinegar is pleasantly tangy and the overnight marinade results in a juicy chicken favorite.
Time 13 hours
Servings 4
Difficulty Medium





  • 1 ½ lbs Chicken thighs, skinless and bone-in
  • to taste Salt
  • to taste Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 cloves Garlic , minced
  • ¼ cup Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Olive brine, green
  • ½ cup White wine , dry
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • ½ cup Olives , green, pitted
  • 1 cup Prunes , pitted
  • cup Capers
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin


  • 1 ½ lbs Potato, preferably Yukon Gold, peeled and quartered
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • ¼ cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Milk , 2% or whole
  • To taste Salt
  • To taste Black pepper, freshly ground


  • Season chicken thighs with salt and black pepper. Place in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix the garlic, vinegar, brine, wine and sugar. Lightly whisk. Add the olives, prunes and capers and stir. Pour mixture over the chicken. Cover the dish tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F. Remove thighs from the marinade and pat dry with paper towel. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the thighs and sear all over until golden brown and slightly crisp on the surface.
  • Place seared thighs into a baking dish and pour over the marinade, olives, prunes and capers. Bake, occasionally basting, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75°C / 165°F, about 45 minutes. The marinade will reduce, and the chicken will turn dark golden and slightly caramelized.
  • Add potatoes to a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add salt to water and turn the heat to high to bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low to maintain a simmer, and cover. Cook until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cream to warm. When potatoes are done, drain water and place them into a large bowl. Pour the butter and cream mixture over potatoes. Mash and add milk; stir until potatoes are smooth. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Serve mashed potatoes with cooked chicken and extra olives and capers on the side.


  • Alternatively, you can substitute dried Medjool dates for prunes
  • Alternatively, you can use caper berries
  • Don’t over-beat the potatoes or they will end up gluey
  • Add more milk to potatoes if you prefer a wetter consistency 
  • Alternatively, serve chicken with rice or pasta