Want to impress your dinner guests or be the star of the next pot luck you attend? Make Ina Garten’s Chicken Marbella – a tangy, savory delight and a true gourmet!
- 8 bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups large pitted prunes (I used Sunsweet)
- 1 cup large green olives, pitted (see note #1)
- 1/2 cup capers, including juice (1 3.5 ounce jar)
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 heads of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup dried oregano
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Kosher salt
- Check out my video of this recipe and follow along while you cook.
- Trim the fat from the chicken thighs.
- Peel one and a half heads of garlic. I know – it seems like a lot. The garlic should be minced so peel it and run it through your mini food processor. If you don’t have a mini, just use a knife to mince it. Set it aside for now.
- For the marinade: Use a large bowl that will fit the marinade and all 8 chicken thighs. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, pitted prunes, capers and the juice from jar, bay leaves, the minced garlic, oregano, 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, olives. (Personal choice: I used a bit more prunes and olives than the recipe called for because I like it that way. Also, I added a splash of the brine from the jar of the “bistro blend” olives).
- Give the marinade a good mix until everything is well combined.
- Add the trimmed chicken thighs to the marinade and make sure all the chicken thighs are coated well.
- Wrap the bowl in plastic and let marinate for 24 hours. Turn the chicken a few times during the marination process. I didn’t have space in my fridge for a bowl that size, so I transferred all the chicken and marinade to a 2-gallon Ziplock bag. If you do this, make sure to squeeze out the air and massage the chicken and marinade together. Turn the bag a few times during the marination process.
- Once the chicken is fully marinated it’s ready to cook! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the chicken in a large baking dish/pan. Ina’s recipe suggests a 15”x18” dish/pan. Mine was 15”x13” and worked fine. A 10"x15" could work too if you have smaller chicken thighs or if you're only making 6 chicken thighs instead of 8. The chicken should be skin side facing up then arrange the prunes, olives, capers and marinade around the chicken pieces.
- Add the dry white wine to the baking pan. Make sure to pour it around the chicken and not on top of the chicken.
- Sprinkle a few pinches of salt on top of the chicken. Ina’s recipe called for 2 teaspoons of salt here, but I felt that was a little too much for me. The choice is yours. A couple of pinches sprinkled on top was fine.
- Same with the pepper. Ina’s recipe called for 1 teaspoon here, but I used about half that amount.
- Last step – sprinkle the light brown sugar on the chicken pieces. Remember: this is a savory, salty, briney dish and to balance that salt we need a little sweetness that we get from the prunes and this brown sugar on top.
- Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until internal temp of chicken is 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken when finished and cover the baking pan in foil. Be careful – it’s hot. I used my potholders to secure the foil. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and then serve.
- Side dishes that pair well with this: mashed potatoes, white rice, buttered egg noodles. Or to keep this on the lighter side go with a side salad.
- For the olives: Ina’s recipe suggested pitted green Cerignola olives. I can never find these at the grocery store. I used a combination of olives. I used pitted green castelvetrano olives and a “bistro blend” which included pitted green and kalamata olives in a seasoned brine. Traditionally, the recipe calls for pitted green olives.
- This is not a crispy chicken skin dish. If you want crispy skin you could put just the chicken pieces on a small sheet pan and stick under the broiler for a few minutes at the end… HOWEVER, it could burn very easily since we sprinkled the brown sugar on the top of the chicken. Keep this in mind if you decide to do this. A lower rack may be the best option and keep your eye on it.