Chicken Marbella

Ina Garten Chicken Marbella

Are you at your wits end trying to come up with interesting but not too complicated dinner ideas? Chicken Marbella might just be the revival your dinner hour is looking for.

If you have teens and young adults who have come home from college, or are suddenly “always around” – for obvious reasons – you might be like me and struggling with keeping up with their food intake.

  • I’m not used to how much they eat
  • We are all bored and this kitchen feels like it is open 24/7.

SO – on that note…with all the extra time we’ve got these days, I’ve committed to adding new recipes to my repertoire, and attempting some unusual suspects in my fav cookbooks.

You know by now, I am a huge Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) fan and as is typical when you look through a cookbook, there are always recipes you need to try now, and then there’s the ones that you might think look unusual – and in some cases downright unappetizing.

My family is simple in its culinary tastes. They require a starch, a protein and a veg – actually they could take or leave the veg but it’s something that is non-negotiable in our home. They don’t like anything weird – like liver and they are usually willing to try something once.

A few exceptions to this is anything with mushrooms – my hubby despises them and I would generally say they are suspect of tofu. 🙂

Now – Ina talks about this recipe like we should all be familiar with it. I have never heard of Chicken Marbella before. Leave a note down below if you have? Chicken Diane – yes, Chicken Oscar – of course. But Marbella? Well – she’s new to me!

I did a few modifications to the recipe, like the brown sugar. I took it down to 1/4 cup and used coconut sugar instead. Worked perfect. I also used only chicken breasts. I didn’t feel like wrangling with a chicken first thing in the morning. 🙂

Ready for the oven…

Why you should try Chicken Marbella…

Prep is done either the night before or in the morning, which means less dinner time dishes.

Who doesn’t love a make ahead? This recipe involves marinating the chicken, then literally dumping into a roasting pan when you are about an hour from dinner.

Unique ingredients that are simple but unexpected

Pitted prunes? Green Olives? Almost 2 heads of garlic? The ingredient that MOST excited my kids was CHICKEN WITH SKIN!!

It’s dinner party worthy

Ok – so no dinner party happening in your immediate future, but when things get back to normal around here think of all the people you are going to want to have over… ’nuff said.

Because there’s Wine

Yup – there’s wine in it – so you know it’s gonna be good! Oh, and guess what? You can SERVE wine with it too… BONUS.

Crazy amazing flavour

I have to say, I have not made a dish so flavourful in recent memory. Really – this chicken has such a lovely complex incredible flavour. The kids could not stop talking about how much they loved this chicken.

So, if I’ve won you over – give it a try. Add the ingredients to your once weekly shopping list, and surprise the family with something new.

Ina Garten's Chicken Marbella

  • Servings: 6
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A boredom busting chicken recipe full on flavour!

**slightly modified


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup red wine vinegar

1½ cups large pitted prunes

1 cup large green olives, pitted

½ cup capers with some juice

6 bay leaves

1½ heads of garlic, cloves separated, peeled,and minced

¼ cup dried oregano

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 (4-pound) chickens, backs removed and cut in 8 pieces (see note)

½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed – see note

1 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade. (You can also place the chicken and the marinade in a 2-gallon plastic storage bag and squeeze out the air to make sure the chicken is fully covered with the marinade.) Refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally to be sure the marinade is getting into all the chicken pieces. *I marinated in the morning and it was still perfect!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken, skin side up, along with the marinade in one layer in a large (15-by-18-inch) roasting pan. Pour the wine around the chicken. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken is 145 degrees.

Remove the pan from the oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the chicken, prunes, and olives to a serving platter. Taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Pour pan juices over chicken.

Note: I used 8 pieces of bone in, skin on chicken breast because I’m not a dark meat fan. Worked perfect, and I didn’t need to visit the butcher.
I took the brown sugar down to 1/4 cup and used coconut sugar instead.

I added some simple brown rice and steamed broccolini to the plate and called it a day.

If your family loves chicken and you want another easy peasy chicken recipe check out our FIVE INGREDIENT ROASTED CHICKEN BREASTS and let us know what you think!

Keep chillin’ at home and we will see you again next week…



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