Slow Cooker Chicken Marbella
When you take the time to cook a meal, you want to know that you’re in good hands. You go to the market, buy the ingredients, chop, prep, cook, and clean up. Recipes need to work. To wow. To do the job of feeding your family. Good hands. That’s what I’m putting you in with this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Marbella.
It’s not mine, it’s adapted from my friend Jane McKay. I’ve been in good hands every time I’ve made one her her recipes. She’s a veritable aficionado in all things Crock Pot, the best slow cooker cook I know.
A Crock Pot Chicken Marbella
The roots of this Chicken Marbella recipe are from the Silver Palate Cookbook, a 1980s classic that was a runaway best seller. The dish is a sweet, savory, tangy combination of chicken thighs, prunes and olives. After several hours of cooking low and slow, the chicken is fork tender and infused with fabulous flavor.
A Simpler (and Healthier) Chicken
I made a few changes to both the original and Jane’s version of Chicken Marbella by skipping the step of marinating it overnight. I feel as though the slow pace of the crock pot allows the chicken to get plenty flavorful without a do-ahead marinade. I also cut way back on the brown sugar. The original recipe calls for one cup, whereas my version is 3 tablespoons, plenty sweet to my tastebuds.
Recipe Variations and Serving Suggestion
I’d say this recipe is pretty darn perfect as is, but there are certainly ways to build on the dish, such as:
- Add a hit of heat by stirring a teaspoon or two of Calabrian chiles into the pot or adding several dashes of cayenne pepper.
- Add a few handfuls of chopped chard or kale to the slow cooker about an hour before the chicken is done.
- Serve Chicken Marbella with a favorite whole grain, such as farro, or over Israeli couscous or polenta.
- If you have leftovers, shred the chicken and spoon with the sauce over egg noodles.
If you like Slow Cooker Chicken Marbella, you might like these other chicken recipes:
Slow Cooker Chicken Marbella
Chicken Marbella is tasty on its own, but is excellent over farro, rice pilaf, couscous, or paparadelle noodles. It's also terrific the next day.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup pitted prunes
- 1/2 cup pitted, flavorful green olives
- 1/4 cup capers, plus 1 tablespoon of the brine
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Into your slow cooker, stir together the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers w/brine, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and wine. Nestle the chicken pieces into the pot. Cover and cook until the chicken is very tender, about 4 hours on high and 7 hours on low. If possible, turn the chicken pieces over halfway through and spoon some of the juices over everything. Transfer to a shallow bowl and scatter the parsley over the top.
Adapted from the Chicken Marbella recipe in the Silver Palate Cookbook