Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chicken with Olives and Figs

If you've ever eaten Chicken Marbella from "The Silver Palate Cookbook," this recipe is somewhat similar in flavor, but with far fewer calories. It uses only two teaspoons of oil, rather than the 1/2 cup called for in the well-known recipe for Chicken Marbella. A few other things are different here. There's cilantro, rather than parsley, balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, and most noteworthy - figs rather than prunes. Unless you're Stacey, from Stacey Snacks, (a real figaholic if ever I met one) the jury is still out on the figs. I think the prunes melt more into the sauce, lending a sweetness that the more sturdy figs don't. But change is good sometimes. Both recipes are great for make-ahead meals, since they can be assembled and marinated ahead of time, then baked right before serving.

I made this with boneless chicken breasts that weighed a total of about 1 1/4 pounds. It would easily have served three people. However, you can use as much as two pounds of chicken with the quantity of ingredients in the recipe below.

Chicken With Olives and Figs

Adapted from a recipe in the Oct. 2004 issue of Health Magazine

about 10 olives, sliced in half (I used kalamata olives)
about 10 dried figs (slice some in half)
3 T. light brown sugar
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. dried basil
2 t. extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 c. chicken broth

1. Combine all the ingredients in a zip-lock plastic bag, except the white wine and chicken broth. Let it marinate in the refrigerator at least four hours, turning bag occasionally. Leave it overnight if you want.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Remove chicken from bag. Place in a casserole or baking dish. Pour broth and wine over mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.


  1. this is one tasty sounding and good looking recipe - who doesnt need more chicken ideas?

  2. This figaholic can't wait to make this recipe!
    I love chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate cookbook.....
    and how WEIRD that my post today is about being a FIG-AHOLIC!

  3. Yes, of course... love chicken Marbella! Then, I am positive that my family will like this chicken with olives and fig. What a great combo.

    I just wish that some of my fig in my backyard is ripen, still have to wait a couple days more, I guess.

    Your dish looks delicious Linda.

  4. this looks great. I'm clipping it to hopefully make next week. thanks

  5. This looks very very good...We came home and started our diets and I was looking for something new to do with chicken....

  6. I wish I had some figs right now to make this! How funny Stacey posted something figgy today too!

  7. Hi Linda
    Looks great! I also love chicken Marabella from the Silver Palate cookbook. My husband adores fresh figs and I'd like to try this using fresh figs when they are in season, as I think they'd disolve into the sauce.

  8. We love chicken Marabella and yours looks so good Linda!

  9. A beautiful dish! A wonderful combination!



  10. This is an absolutely gorgeous and delicious sounding meal. I would love to give the prunes a try.

  11. I can eat my own weight in figs. I am pretty sure I have. I can think of no happier death than from a fig overdose. I knowingly consume many more figs than my stomach can process and routinely give myself severe stomach pain as a result. Totally worth it.
    I think I am a figaholic!
    This chicken looks great! Actually yesterday when I was mindlessly browzing on of Martha's cookbooks, I found a recipe for chicken with a balsamic fig sauce that looks so appealing, this has the same effect on me!

  12. Looks great but I would prefer the prunes to the figs.
    I like your lower cal version.

  13. This is an easy dish for me...I'm all over all the ingredients, the look and simplicity.

  14. We love Chicken Marbella and it's so easy to make for a crowd.
    Thanks for giving us a healthier one with a new twist.
    Saw your blog at Stacy's Snacks.

  15. Made this for the Jewish Holidays and got rave reviews. Everyone wanted the recipe. I used 3 t. of dried cilantro instead of fresh and it was perfect. It is a delicious easy recipe and tastes even better the next day. Thank you Linda, this goes in my keeper folder!!