Ina Garten’s Chicken Marbella

Ina Garten’s Chicken Marbella 

I’m a big fan of Ina Garten, collecting all her cookbooks. I opened her new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks, a Christmas present from my husband Chris, eager to try her variation of Chicken Marbella. When the Silver Palate cookbook was all the rage, I made Chicken Marbella and wasn’t very impressed. So I approached Ina’s reinvention with trepidation, planning on being disappointed. I made the dish and served it for a family Sunday dinner. To my surprise and delight, we thoroughly enjoyed Ina’s Chicken Marbella. I found the flavor more intense than the Silver Palate recipe created by adding more prunes, olives, garlic, caper juice, and less sugar. I will definitely make this recipe again.

  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup good red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups large pitted prunes, such as Sunsweet
  • 1 cup large green olives, pitted, such as Cerignola (see tip)
  • 1/2 cup capers, including the juices (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 heads of garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and minced (see tip)
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (4-pound) chicken backs removed and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio


  • 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 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 of the chicken pieces. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken, skin side up, along with the marinade in one layer in a large (15 × 18-inch) roasting pan, sprinkle with the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and pour the wine around (not over!) the chicken. 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, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices. 


Pro tip: You can’t buy good-quality pitted green olives. I buy whole olives and pit them with a cherry pitter.

Pro tip: To peel a lot of garlic quickly, separate the cloves and blanch them in boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds, depending on the size of the cloves — the peel slips right off.

Reprinted from Cook Like a Pro: Recipes & Tips for Home Cooks. Copyright © 2018 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publisher



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