roasted chicken with olives and prunes

Roasted Chicken with Olives and Prunes

Are you spending too much time on the computer?  That’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately.  After reading this article in The Atlantic and finding out about this new site that calculates the amount of time spent on twitter, I’ve really been pondering this matter.

I haven’t been pondering it too much though.  Instead, last weekend, I took a break and left my computer off for 48 hours.  Wow, I did have quite a surprise on Monday morning, (an inbox full to the brim) however it was well worth it.  I felt much more engaged with my family and my surroundings by unplugging myself from the virtual world.  Sometimes you just need to live a little!  In the real world.  Not facebook, twitter or blogs.

I know this is blogging heresy, however, I just couldn’t resist entertaining this discussion.  While I love all of the communication possibilities that our computers and the internet afford and have made wonderful connections with so many readers right here, I do find myself wondering if I’m getting “addicted” to the computer at the expense of my connection to my actual surroundings and nature.  I wonder how this new era of communication impacts us as individuals and the greater culture at large.  And as always, I find myself looking for balance.

So, back to a topic that we can probably all agree on.  Dinner!  Gotta have it.

Chicken Marbella is a classic dish that some say is the finest to ever come out of The Silver Palate Cookbook. To make it a bit easier, I decided to adapt the recipe, reducing the marinating time and roasting a whole chicken instead of chicken parts.

This festive dish would be great for the Passover Seder with its complex blend of flavors.  In fact, this is what I’m going to be serving to our guests.  Along with Matzoh Ball Soup, of course.

Print Recipe
Roasted Chicken with Olives and Prunes
  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry
  2. Place the chicken breast side up in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, then sprinkle with salt
  3. In a large bowl, combine the olives, prunes, oregano, capers, bay leaves, garlic, olive oil, agave, apple cider vinegar and water
  4. Spread the contents of the bowl in the dish around the chicken
  5. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes
  6. Lower heat to 375° and continue to roast the chicken until it is cooked through, about 40 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and serve

This child-friendly dish is a hit with the little ones.  My children are great about gobbling up the chicken dishes I make with fruit in them.


  1. Sherry Leveck says

    Roast Chicken With Olives and Prunes.
    I have a question for you. In the write-up, you mentioned that you reduced the marinating time from the original. Alright. Do you marinate at all, or just pop it in the pan and bake the dish? It is not mentioned in the recipe and I am just curious.

    Also, should a person brine the chicken before you prepare it, or do you just cook it as stated? I know I am too picky, but I really am curious. I could just make it my own and try it both ways. What do you think?

    This sounds like a great chicken. Regardless, I am going to try it. It definitely has many good/excellent/incredible reviews, so I have to try it for Passover. It sounds better than the beef shank.

    One more thing. Can I make my own Coconut flour by grinding and grinding the flour in the blender? I have lots of coconut and I think I can do this. I have powdered this and even sugar in the same way.. How about the almond flour? Can it maybe be floured in the same way? Is it possible? I am on a fixed income and try to save money on every corner possible. Sure, it is more work, but the machine does most of it.

    Thank you for your time and concideration.
    Sherry Leveck

  2. Danielle says

    I recently tried the recipe variation in your new cookbook and loved it! I plan on making it again (and again and again), and wonder if you have tried the version with cubed chicken in a slow cooker — I’d love to give that a shot, and wonder if you have any advice or recommendations? Thank you!

  3. Jacqueline Lamb says

    I made this last night for Hanukkah dinner and it was fantastic! The only thing I changed was to use figs instead of prunes. Four of us devoured a 4.25 lb chicken and then ended up around the roasting pan with spoons to slurp up all of the sauce. I’ve never been a huge fan of Chicken Marbella as I’ve found it too sweet, but this version is perfect!

  4. mike says

    This is my familys favorite chicken dish. A few modifications to bring down to earth-ditch the capers. Ditch the honey/ juice. 10 min before its done place 1 TBS brown sugar on every piece and grill until caramelized.

  5. Alyssa says

    My fiancé and I LOVED this! It was my first roast chicken. I brined, roasted, froze it then re warmed it in the oven and it was still the best chicken I have ever had. Thank you so much for the recipe. I would love to have even more whole chicken recipes. I have your ginger orange chicken in the freezer right now and can’t wait to eat it this week after a long day of work!

  6. kimberly says

    i love your recipes and i absolutely loved this one! the olives were crazy good! i used a fat separator at the end and what was left was mostly sweet and savory drippings. amazing!

  7. Jennifer Kingsley says

    I just made this tonight and it was absolutely wonderful! Served with Mashed Cauliflower and Asparagus. I wasn’t sure about the olive and prune combo… and my kids weren’t either when they heard about it… but, we all gobbled it up and went back for seconds!

  8. Danielle says

    Thank you for such a fantastic recipe! I typically eat one meal worth of chicken once a month and cannot stand to think about that meat for some time after. I made this recipe (using agave) on a whim and my husband and I both loved it. In fact, I found myself craving leftovers the following day and the chicken was picked completely clean by the following night (that never happens with chicken in our house!) This dish was so great, I plan on making it for company as it is easy and beautiful. Thank you again! I’m also a big fan of your other recipes, especially the soups.

  9. Lili says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I was just thinking about chicken marbella (one of my favourites) and how I could make it paleo! Can’t wait to try. Thanks again!

  10. Ciara Tague says

    Thank you for posting this recipe Elana!
    It was easy to prepare and it passed the husband test : )
    I used honey instead of agave and I used a combination of green & brown olives from the olive bar at Whole Foods.
    A great recipe!

    I’m going to save the carcass & try your chicken broth recipe.

  11. Jessica Hennessey says

    This is a delicious recipe!! I’ve made it 3 times in the past week-and-a-half! However, I used about 1T agave and chicken breast instead and the outcome was great.

  12. Marla Teyolia says

    OMG Elana! this was soooo yummy. i made it for our local farmer for dinner tonite and it was so incredibly moist and just delicious. i did not have bay leaves or capers on hand, and it still came out lovely.

    thank you for this awesome recipe that is soon to become a family favorite!

  13. Tara says

    This recipe is amazing and I have been enjoying it since you posted it. I made it a couple nights ago with honey instead of agave and it was delicious! Thanks for such wonderful recipes!

  14. Victoria Bell says

    Hi Elana,

    I wanted to tell you that I made this chicken dish tonight for dinner and it was superb. The combination of the prunes with the olives and capers was wonderful.

    My two young sons gobbled it up and their father and I grabbed what we could. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks!

  15. Jan Jones says

    I made this chicken tonight using pieces and it was so delicious! Thanks for sharing it. I’m looking forward to trying the squash latkes and just received my copy of your cookbook…just in time for holiday baking. Yummy!

  16. Stephanie says

    Hello, I’m rather new to this site, but in the past few days have found that I am totally addicted to it! Thank you so much for providing a place where people omitting dairy and gluten can come to find delicious recipes at anytime! Last night I tried this recipe, and I LOVED it. I replaced the prunes with dried figs, and omg, it was GREAT. I’m sure the prunes would’ve been good too. I am Italian/American, so all my dishes have a mediterranean flare. This is my first week of eating GF and DF. I think I can keep this up if the recipes are this good. The ingredients are a little pricey, but at least I know I am putting something good into my body!
    thank you!!!

  17. says

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your fantastic comments. And yes, isn’t this classic dish just wonderful for Easter dinner?


  18. says

    We made this for Easter dinner as well! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. The chicken looked beautiful on the table with the colors of the prunes, capers and olives. I used to be vegetarian. Now that I’m eating local, organic meats I’m finding that feeding a crowd is easier. Fewer ingredients and yet more flavor. This recipe was unbelievably easy AND tasty!

  19. Laura says

    This was an amazing Easter Dinner tonight – my husband LOVED it! Thanks once again for an outstanding dish!

  20. says

    I love Chicken Marbella. It was my standard recipe for guests in the unpredictable first year or two after my son’s birth -very forgiving baking times, lots of hand-off baking time to make the other dishes, marinade ingredients always in my cupboard, and great leftovers. But I stopped making it when I reduced my sugar intake and wasn’t making rice anymore.

    I started making it again about a year ago with whole chicken legs, but without the sugar, and less marinade. I don’t think it needs the agave syrup, either. Now I make cauliflower puree to soak up the juices, instead of rice.

    The prunes and olives are easy to pick out for those who don’t like them – another reason Chicken Marbella is a fave for entertaining. Roasting, though, I hadn’t thought to do that. Cool twist.

  21. says

    This sounds great. Now, to see if I could get my husband to eat something with prunes and olives in it. I agree with StuffCooksWant, definitely sounds like a great salty/sweet combo, with a bit of piquant thrown in. Gotta try!

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