Chicken Marbella – Inspired by Ottolenghi

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While this recipe is not an Ottolenghi original, seeing it in his most recent book, Simple did inspire me to give it a try. It’s a real keeper and with the entertaining season around the corner, this is a great one to have in your back pocket. Serve with a winter green salad and some sort of grain to sop up all the juices!


Some recipes add quite a bit of sugar to the marinade but in the spirit of keeping things a bit lighter, I left it out – you won’t miss it!

Chicken Marbella

Adapted from Simple

  • 8 chicken legs, about 4 lbs worth
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 2 heaping Tbsp capers, plus another 2 Tbsp of their brine
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, quartered
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses or honey
  • Salt and pepper for serving
  • Chopped parsley for serving

Place all the ingredients except for the wine, molasses and parsley into a large glass dish. Toss to coat. Cover and marinate for 2 days, flipping the chicken once half way through.

Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before roasting.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Transfer the chicken, olives, dates, capers and marinade to a baking dish large enough to accommodate the chicken in a single layer. You can remove the bay leaves at this point. In a bowl, mix the wine and molasses and pour over the chicken. Bake for 50 minutes basting a few times until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

Sprinkle with parsley and salt and pepper and serve.

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