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Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella is a timeless recipe for a special-occasion. This was popular party fare from my mother's time in the '80s. But even today, I love to cook it for its ease, simplicity of preparation, accessible ingredients and superb flavors. One has to marinate the chicken overnight in red wine vinegar, garlic, capers, prunes, bay leaves, and seasonings, and then bake it the next day. This was adapted from Ina Garten's recipe featured on The Kitchn. Serves 4.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr
Resting Time15 mins
Total Time1 d 1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Marbella
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 394kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Large roasting pan : At least 14 inches length or larger


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted prunes
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/3 cup capers
  • 5 pieces bay leaves
  • 1 whole head of garlic peeled, minced; about 6 to 8 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 whole (about 3 to 4 lbs.) chicken cut-up, bone-in, back removed about 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine like Pinot Grigio

For serving

  • steamed rice


To marinate chicken:

  • Marinate the chicken pieces with the following: Extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, garlic, salt and black pepper. Combine ingredients well. Place the chicken and marinade in a non-reactive container and cover it. Keep refrigerated overnight.
    *Note: You can also use a large gallon-sized resealable plastic bag to keep the marinated chicken overnight.

To bake the chicken:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • In a large roasting pan, place the chicken pieces with the skin side up and the marinade, in one layer. Do not overlap the chicken or it will not cook evenly.
    Sprinkle brown sugar all over the chicken.
    Pour the white wine around the sides of the chicken. Do not pour over the meat or the marinade will wash away.
  • Roast the chicken for 50 to 55 minutes. The internal temperature should be 145 F degrees when completely cooked (if using an internal thermometer).
    *Note: Pierce the fattest side of thighs or meat pieces. If the liquid that runs out is a clear, yellow juice, the chicken is done.
    Remove the roasting pan with the chicken from the oven. Cover the entire pan with foil. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes.

To serve:

  • Remove and discard the bay leaves.
    Serve warm, straight from the oven with the pan juices, in the roasting pan. Serve steamed rice on the side.

Cook's comments:

  • I have cooked this dish using boneless chicken thighs and it cooked for a shorter time. It was also just as delicious.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 998mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 97IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg