Sangria Chicken

I have been cooking and baking and chronicling it on this blog for so many years that sometimes it feels like a routine.

Sometimes I forget that when I first moved to Boston, I hardly even knew how to cook an egg.

Sometimes I forget that when I was in college, I would force feed my friends spaghetti drenched in Campbell’s mushroom soup.

Sometimes I forget that I used to subsist mostly on take-out and cake (I’ve weaned myself out of take out but cake will always remain).

Sometimes I forget that I’ve come a long way.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a small dinner party at home. I started off my guests with goat cheese-avocado-and red pepper jelly bruschetta, then presented this Sangria Chicken with a flourish, declaring that it’s a new recipe I’ve been thinking about for weeks.

I also served spaghetti aglio olio, roasted asparagus, and two kinds of homemade desserts (cookies and fudge). It all seemed normal to me, to make multiple courses for a small get-together.  But my dear friends, after oohing and aahing, reminded me that this wasn’t normal Bianca behavior five years ago, or even three years ago. Because it’s true. I’ve come a long way from boiling boxed tortellini, tossing it in butter, and calling it a meal (although there is nothing wrong with that).

I meant for this Sangria Chicken recipe to sound fancy, but it’s not – it’s really just a hop and a skip away from regular roast chicken. Or more specifically, it’s red wine and orange juice away from regular roast chicken.  It tastes like what a good home cooked meal should taste like, and it makes my “kitchen” (in quotes because I have a small box of a room that’s designated to be the kitchen, dining, and living room) smell what a nice, homey kitchen should smell like.

I love this recipe mostly because it uses my favorite drink, sangria. I know that there are different ways to make sangria – in addition to red wine, some people may add orange juice, triple sec, brandy, club soda, lemon juice, simple syrup, etc. But my favorite sangria recipe is the most simple and most basic one that I’ve learned from my mom: it’s a combination of red wine and orange juice. That’s it, pure and simple. My mom would add chopped fruit, but when I am too lazy to do that, I just pour some red wine into my wine glass and top it with orange juice. You can be sure that I poured myself a glass (or three) while making this chicken recipe.

But I also love this recipe because I made it for my friends.  We  all shared a good meal, and spent hours laughing and talking and eating. That’s the best part of cooking and baking.  That’s what makes it all worth it. I may have come a long way, but my heart is still in the same place: always wanting to be with friends, family, and a good glass of sangria.

Sangria Chicken


8 chicken thighs
1 small yellow onion, thickly sliced
1 cup carrots
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (around 2 twigs)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cup red wine
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the onions, carrots, and garlic in a roasting pan or casserole/baking dish. Toss with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the dish and place chicken on top, skin side down.
  4. Mix red wine and orange juice together, then pour mixture over chicken and vegetables. Roast the chicken for 40 minutes, flipping halfway so you'll finish with the skin side up.
  5. Remove dish from oven, take out chicken pieces and set aside in a separate dish, covered in foil. Pour wine and vegetable mixture in a saucepan and add brown sugar. Cook over medium high heat to reduce sauce, about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Place chicken back in baking dish, add the reduced sauce and vegetables, and place back in oven for 5 minutes before serving.


18 Responses to “Sangria Chicken”

  1. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted March 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Such a cozy dish, Bianca!! And I love the sound of the “easy” sangria that your mom makes. Heart healthy + good for the immune system too :)

  2. #
    Monica posted March 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Your dinner party menu sounds so warm and inviting! This chicken dish looks perfect for a crowd. I love what you said about coming a long way. Sometimes I can’t believe I only baked a handful of things just a couple of years ago and I think about all the things I’ve tried since. There’s definitely a sense of pride but, like you said, that love of food and being around the table with family and friends, has never changed. : )

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks, Monica! It’s nice to look back and actually be proud of all the dishes I’ve successfully created!

  3. #
    Sacha posted March 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    What a nice story – now you’re dreaming up things like Sangria Chicken! That’s awesome. It sounds like you served up your friends quite a treat. The only thing that made me squirm was the spaghetti and cream of mushroom ;).

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted March 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Thank you! Haha that makes me squirm now too :p

  4. #
    CCU posted March 18, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Lovely looking warm dish my friend :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. #
    Megan posted March 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Cooking for and sharing food with others is definitely one of my favorite things to do. I can’t imagine you ever not knowing how to cook or bake. But I guess we all went through the box of pasta phase. My friends remind me that I used to make us all Totino’s Pizza Rolls after a night out at the bar.

  6. #
    Meghan posted March 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    This looks like the perfect cold-weather dinner!

  7. #
    Michelle Collins posted March 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Sounds like a great meal! I definitely knew nothing about cooking either, until I went to college. That’s where I really started to get into it. I still have a lot to learn, but it’s always fun to see how far my cooking skills have come!

  8. #
    Joanne posted March 19, 2013 at 6:33 am

    It is funny how much blogging (and experience) can change a person! I could barely cook also when I first started blogging and it’s fun to look back and see how much I’ve grown.

    I love the idea of cooking this in a sangria-esque bath of flavor! yum!

  9. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted March 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

    This looks wonderful. I love making these homey dishes like this for entertaining. Plus, I’ll take any excuse to drink sangria :)

  10. #
    Shannon posted March 19, 2013 at 11:13 am

    food is always better when shared :) this sounds delicious!!

  11. #
    Rhonda (@diningalone) posted March 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I am always looking for new things to do with chicken thighs because they are my favorite. This looks awesome and I am sure it tasted even better sharing with friends.

  12. #
    Molly Galler posted March 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Congrats on your evolution to hostess with the mostess! Everything sounds delicious.

  13. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted March 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    This looks so yummy! Very sophisticated for someone new at this whole cooking thing ;) Keep up the good work!!!

  14. #
    Amy Tong posted March 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Oh….this Sangria Chicken looks so decadent and delicious. I can’t believe you’ve came a long way in cooking. After seeing this, I can’t believed you’ve once served your friends spaghetti drenched in Campbell’s mushroom soup! hahaha…

  15. #
    Simply Life posted March 25, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    wow! I’m so impressed- sounds you like served quite the meal!!!

Leave a Comment