chicken marbella | easy entertaining

You really won’t believe me until you try it – but there has never been a simpler recipe to cook for a crowd when entertaining. This Chicken Marbella comes from ‘The Ignatian Table cookbook’ – a fabulous book that’s filled with so many good and hearty, tried and tested recipes. My sister in law, Lou put me on to it and I find myself coming back to it time and time again due to it’s sheer simplicity and depth of flavour.

All you do is arrange the chicken in a baking dish, cover with a few bits and pieces such as: the prunes, olives, capers and garlic and pour the marinade liquid over the top. The best thing is that you can do this ahead of time, leaving it in the fridge until you’re ready to whack it in the oven. The smell of the garlic and oregano that fills the house is just lovely and the overall result has this delicious salty/sweetness to it that’s quite unique and very satisfying.

Serve it up with some cous cous or rice and a big green leafy salad for good measure. You can double/triple, gosh even quadruple the ingredients if you’re cooking for an army or scale things back if you’re making it for a midweek meal. It’s the perfect dish for this time of year, where the weather is starting to cool off a bit and you’re looking for something hot but without being too rich or heavy.

So invite some friends round soon and give this Chicken Marbella a go – I doubt you’ll be disappointed. It’s easy, simple and delicious. Just a good un-pretentious dish that anyone can make.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

chicken marbella

10 x chicken thigh fillets (or chicken breast)
1 x cup of prunes, pitted
1 x cup of Spanish green olives, pitted
1/2 cup of capers
4 x cloves of garlic, crushed
6 x bay leaves
A really good sprinkling of dried oregano
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of olive oil
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 x cup of white wine
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
A good sprinkling of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Cous cous, to serve
Fresh leafy salad, to serve

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  • In a large baking dish – arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer.
  • Scatter the prunes, olives, capers, garlic, bay leaves and oregano over the chicken. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Pour over the vinegar and olive oil; sprinkle over the sugar and pour over the white wine.
  • You can now cover it in glad wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours or overnight. Alternatively, if you’re short on time – throw it in the oven and bake for approximately 1.5 hours (less time if using chicken breast). I turn the chicken pieces over half way through the cooking process. 
  • Sprinkle the fresh parsley over the top and serve with the cous cous and a fresh leafy salad.

Lo’s tips

  • You’ll notice that once cooked, it’s quite ‘liquid-ey’ which is how it should be. Simply spoon some of this cooking liquid over the chicken and cous cous when serving and discard the rest.
  • You could also serve this with either steamed rice, mashed potato or some boiled new potatoes instead if you like.
  • You can add the zest of a lemon to the marinade which gives it a slight tanginess too.

If you make this Chicken Marbella, please leave your comments below. x


  1. Yay, this is still one of my favourites, so easy yet so impressive. We’re off to a friend’s place for dinner on Thursday night and I offered to bring the main!! Just had to add olives and capers to my shop today xx


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