Low-Calorie Chicken Marbella Recipe
This is an update on a classic recipe from “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso, published in the early ’80s. I received a copy from a friend’s mother in the mid-’90s after I complimented her version of Chicken Marbella.
The cookbook was a housewarming gift when I took my first job in Atlanta and was a very welcomed gift since my cooking skills were pretty limited. This cookbook was my introduction into a world of new flavors and new ingredients and very influential in inspiring me to cook and love food.
I hadn’t thought about this recipe in years – then while browsing the web reading recipes (I read recipes like other people read news or gossip) I stumbled upon an updated version. That chance encounter inspired me to find my old cookbook and create a lower calorie, healthier version of Chicken Marbella.
When I made this for my husband he loved it! And couldn’t believe I’d been holding out on him. This is now part of our monthly rotation and is the dish he wants me to cook whenever we host friends for dinner.
I hope you enjoy this updated version!
Updated Classic Chicken Marbella - Lower Calories + Healthier
Low-Calorie Silver Palate Chicken Marbella. Delicious, low-calorie braised chicken with white wine, olives, dried fruit, and capers. The updated healthier version reduces calories without sacrificing taste and adds a nice bit of citrus by using preserved lemons.
- 5 T extra-virgin olive oil good quality first-press Italian
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1 T capers drained
- 1 T oregano fresh, chopped
- 1 T honey
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olive spread*
- 1/4 cup olive tapenade*
- 3/4 t Himalayan pink salt divided
- 4 chicken breast halves bone-in, chicken breast, skin removed
- 3/4 t black pepper fresh ground
- 16 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 24 pitted olives a mix of green and black olives like Castelvetrano or Kalamata
- 1 cup dried figs
- 1 preserved Meyer lemon cut into 1/4-inch slices*
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Preheat a glass or ceramic baking dish large enough to accommodate 4 chicken breasts
Whisk together 1/4 cup oil, vinegar, capers, Kalamata olive spread, olive tapenade, oregano, honey, and 1/4 t salt; set aside
Pre-heat a deep flat-bottom skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat
Heat 1 T oil in a sauté pan over medium-high
Season skinless chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste
Add chicken to pan, breast side down, and sear until well browned about 9 - 10 minutes
Remove chicken; cover and set aside
Add garlic cloves to pan drippings
Cook, stirring frequently until garlic is lightly browned and beginning to blistered, about 2 - 3 minutes
Add wine cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes
Stir in olives and figs
Add chicken, breast side up to the preheated baking dish
Pour garlic wine mixture over the chicken
Pour vinegar mixture over chicken
Place lemon slices on top of chicken breasts
Cover and bake at 350°F 40 minutes
Uncover and bake until liquid has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes
Add a couple of turns of the pepper grinder to each chicken breast
Let sit loosely covered for 5 minutes
Serving with Suggestions
Serve with simple roast potatoes or add cubed potatoes or baby red potatoes cut in half to the baking dish prior to adding the chicken. Place chicken on top of potatoes and cook per remaining directions.
To make this a meal, serve with a simple green salad, crusty Italian bread to soak up the amazing sauce.
*I buy the Kalamata olive spread and the olive tapenade at Whole Food from the Olive Bar.
**I buy the preserved lemon at Whole Food from the Olive Bar, but you can easily make your own. You can also just use fresh Meyers or regular lemons.
I've also made this recipe using 1 Meyers lemon and a Cara Cara Orange and it was delicious.
I like the following preserved lemon recipes:
Jamie Oliver's salt-preserved lemons- this recipe takes 1 month
2 Methods of preserved lemons from AlexandraCooks.com - 1 method takes 2 weeks the other 1 month
- this method only takes an hour, the flavor isn't as complex but if you need preserved lemons in a hurry this can work.
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