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Chicken Marbella

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Chicken Marbella is the kind of casserole dish you make for a special occasion. But in our case, it was both a family dinner and sort of special night. It was Valentine’s day and instead of going through traffic, the long lines and crowded restaurants, we opted to stay in. I cooked this marvelous recipe from memory and relied on Ina Garten’s version for the correct measurements.

My mom cooked Chicken Marbella in the early ’80s for friends or family from Manila who visited us at our home in Tarlac. Mom got the recipe from The Silver Palette Cookbook back then. This recipe remains a classic in our family for so many reasons. First, it’s easy to prepare. You only need to marinate the chicken overnight. Second, the ingredients are easy to find. And best of all, it’s a chicken entrée with superb flavors – a combination of red wine vinegar, garlic, prunes, olives, capers, bay leaves, white wine and seasonings.

Chicken Marbella travels well, too. Now that we live in America, I bring this to potlucks or picnics. And like most Filipinos would do, we served this with steamed rice. We poured the robust-flavored gravy drippings on the piping-hot rice on our plates and it was sheer heaven.

Bake this in a glass Pyrex or any oven-proof roasting pan, and you can bring it from the oven to the table. That’s less clean-up after the meal. The chicken dish looked spectacular. The roasted thighs glistened like gold, nestled next to the shiny, plump prunes, olives, capers and other condiments. Don’t wait for a holiday or a special occasion to cook this. Make this today and transform a regular meal to something magical. After all, life and love should be celebrated every day.

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 day
Cook Time1 hour
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time1 day 1 hour 15 minutes
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

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

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