Marsala Brined Chicken with Orange Essence

Brine time 6 hours. Roasting time 45-50 minutes.

Have questions about brining? View our tips.


2 large oranges
2 bottles (16 oz. each) HOLLAND HOUSE Marsala Cooking Wine
1 tsp. ground allspice
2 Tbsp. table salt
1 (5 lb.) whole, cut-up chicken
2 Tbsp. butter, melted


For optimum flavor, peel rind of oranges with a citrus zester, rather than a grater. Place orange rind in a glass. Add about 2/3 cup Marsala cooking wine; stir in allspice. Microwave on high 1 minute. Cool to room temperature -- at least 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. (Or, place glass in an ice water bath to chill faster; stir occasionally.) Meanwhile, in a large glass bowl, stir salt into remaining Marsala cooking wine until completely dissolved. Stir in cooled flavor infusion.

Rinse chicken pieces. Cut each breast in half and place in a 2-1/2 to 3 quart non-metallic container or bowl with high sides. Add thighs, legs and wings to container. Pour brine over chicken so it is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours.

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove chicken from brine (do not rinse) and arrange pieces in a roasting pan, skin side up. If desired, reserve 1/2 cup brine for gravy; set aside. Discard remaining brine. Brush chicken with butter. Roast 45-50 minutes or until internal temperature of breast meat is 170° and skin is nicely browned. If skin starts to over-brown, cover loosely with foil. 

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Salt Substitutions

The brine for this Marsala chicken recipe uses 2 tablespoons table salt equaling about 14,000 mg sodium. If you use kosher salt, check the label and measure the amount of salt that would equal approximately 14,000 mg sodium – about 1/4 cup depending on the brand. The amount of sodium does not have to be precise -- 200 mg more or less works fine.

The chicken does not have to be cooked immediately after being brined. Simply remove chicken from the brine after 6 hours and place chicken on a plate or in the roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Brine Containers
To be effective, chicken pieces--especially the white meat--should be completely submerged in the brine solution. Always brine in the refrigerator.

Making Gravy
Remove chicken from pan. Place pan on a stovetop burner over medium heat. (Or pour pan juices into a small saucepan, adding any browned bits from the roasting pan). Add the 1/2 cup reserved brine. Whisk together about 2 Tbsp. flour and 1/2 cup water. Pour into pan, stirring constantly with the whisk. Cook at least 1 minute or until thickened and smooth. Makes about 1 cup gravy.


Per serving (4, without gravy): 580 calories, 61g protein, 4g carb, 36g fat (12g sat. fat), 210mg chol, 1840mg sodium, 0g fiber

Per serving (6, without gravy): 390 calories, 41g protein, 3g carb, 24g fat (8g sat. fat), 140mg chol, 1230mg sodium, 0g fiber

Marsala Brined Chicken with Orange Essence
product logo