A delicious, Spanish-Moroccan inspired baked chicken dish, known as Chicken Marbella. The dish was created by Ina Garten as a celebration of the fusion of the two cuisines. It’s known for having a complex, sweet-sour-and-salty flavor. We adore this flavorful baked chicken!
Ina Garten’s Chicken Marbella
This recipe is lightly adapted from Sheila Lukin’s well-known chicken dish from The Silver Palette Cookbook.
The main differences between her recipe and mine is that I use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar (a less processed form of sweetener), and I prefer to use chicken thighs and drumsticks rather than cut up whole chickens. Those are the best pieces in my opinion, and they cook more evenly than using large breasts, which can take twice as long sometimes!
While many think of this dish as being Spanish, it’s only Spanish-inspired. It pulls on the flavors of Moroccan cuisine, and celebrates the fresh, salty, sweet and sour flavors that are prominent in both.
It was actually created in New York, where it became a famous dish for dinner parties and Passover Seders.
The key elements of Chicken Marbella are a sweet-salty wine sauce, prunes, olives and capers.
There are several unexpected ingredients in this dish that blend into pure magic!
Tip: As with most chicken marinades, while 1 hour is sufficient, overnight is where the good stuff really happens!
What You’ll Need:
- Bone-in chicken pieces (I used thighs and drumsticks)
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Bay Leaves
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- White Wine
- Coconut Sugar (or brown sugar)
How to Make Chicken Marbella
Step 1: Add the crushed garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, capers, prunes, olives, oregano, and bay leaves to a baking dish. Stir to mix up the marinade.
Step 2: Add the chicken to the baking dish, coating each piece with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but it will be the most flavorful and have the crispiest skin if marinated overnight.
Step 3: Right before baking, sprinkle the chicken with the coconut sugar and pour in the white wine.
Step 4: Bake the chicken for 1 hour, and then sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
How to Serve this Delicious Roasted Chicken Recipe
Pour off the white wine sauce, and serve it alongside the chicken. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the bold flavors of this baked chicken recipe!
I recommend serving this with:
- Rice, wild rice, or cauliflower rice
- Roasted Vegetables, like Air Fryer Asparagus or Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
Variations on Chicken Marbella
Make it Less Sweet: If this dish is too sweet for you, reduce the sugar by half and leave out the prunes (or use half the prunes).
Make it Low Carb: Use 1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener in place of the coconut sugar.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
If there are leftovers, you’re in luck! This chicken only gets more flavorful after sitting overnight.
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat by adding to a baking dish, covering with foil, and baking at 400º for 15 minutes to warm but not dry out the chicken.
Other Chicken Thigh Recipes
- 6 cloves garlic smashed and finely chopped, or crushed
- 8 pieces chicken (4 thighs + 4 drumsticks, or preferred combination)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 prunes
- 1 cup Spanish olives
- 2 tablespoons capers with juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (original recipe calls for 1/4 cup brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup white wine dry
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, to garnish
- In a baking dish, add the crushed garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Kosher salt, black pepper, oregano, bay leaves, capers, prunes, and olives. Mix together well.
- Add the chicken pieces into the dish, turning them to fully coat them in the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate to marinade at least 3 hours, but for best results overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Sprinkle the chicken with the coconut sugar, and pour the white wine into the dish.
- Bake the chicken for 1 hour, or until chicken if fully cooked.
- Pour off the white wine sauce to serve alongside the chicken.