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

Course: entree, Main, Main Course, Poultry
Cuisine: American, French, Italian, Mediterranean, Poultry
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Resting time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 347 kcal
Author: Kelly DiMascio

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*


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Preheat a glass or ceramic baking dish large enough to accommodate 4 chicken breasts
  3. Whisk together 1/4 cup oil, vinegar, capers, Kalamata olive spread, olive tapenade, oregano, honey, and 1/4 t salt; set aside
  4. Pre-heat a deep flat-bottom skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat

  5. Heat 1 T oil in a sauté pan over medium-high

  6. Season skinless chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste
  7. Add chicken to pan, breast side down, and sear until well browned about 9 - 10 minutes

  8. Remove chicken; cover and set aside
  9. Add garlic cloves to pan drippings

  10. Cook, stirring frequently until garlic is lightly browned and beginning to blistered, about 2 - 3 minutes
  11. Add wine cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes
  12. Stir in olives and figs

  13. Add chicken, breast side up to the preheated baking dish
  14. Pour garlic wine mixture over the chicken
  15. Pour vinegar mixture over chicken
  16. Place lemon slices on top of chicken breasts
  17. Cover and bake at 350°F 40 minutes
  18. Uncover and bake until liquid has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes
  19. Add a couple of turns of the pepper grinder to each chicken breast
  20. Let sit loosely covered for 5 minutes
  21. Serve warm

Recipe Notes



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

Quick Preserved Lemons

- this method only takes an hour, the flavor isn't as complex but if you need preserved lemons in a hurry this can work.




Nutrition Facts
Updated Classic Chicken Marbella - Lower Calories + Healthier
Amount Per Serving
Calories 347 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 1010mg44%
Potassium 787mg22%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 5.5mg7%
Calcium 126mg13%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



  1. 5 Easy Easter Menus For Any Lifestyle | Mermaids & Mojitos - […] Lightened Chicken Marbella with garlic and olives […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Recipe(

 < Eat  < Drink < Party <


DIY + Create

Food Philosophy

I love serving homemade meals and entertaining, but I don’t love spending all my time in the kitchen… Sound familiar?  I’ll share my shortcuts for getting delicious, healthy food on the table – easy, fast & stress-free. All of my recipes have been tested on family and friends.  We love them and I hope you will too.



Chief Mermaid & Mojito Maker

This is me hangin’ out on the boat – it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in the Florida Keys – doing what wannabe mermaids do best…splashing in the waves + soaking up the sun. Life’s amazing.  Want to learn more?  

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share the Love.

Tell your friends!

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap