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Chicken with Olives

Chicken with Olives

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This braised chicken has nice saltiness from the olives that goes well with polenta, potato purée, or simply boiled potatoes. Make sure you use good-quality olives when preparing this dish.


  • 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds, cut into 16 pieces) or 4 pounds chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • ½ teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • ½ cup peeled and chopped plum tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • ½ cup small black olives, pitted but left whole, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup small green olives, pitted but left whole, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a Dutch oven over high heat, heat the oil until very hot. Add the chicken, skin side down, and brown well on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the celery and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes longer. Add the thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and crushed hot red pepper and cook for another minute or two.

Add the lemon juice and orange juice, and 1 minute later add the broth or water, tomatoes, olives, and parsley.

Partially cover the pan and let cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Carve the chicken if necessary and serve it garnished with more olives on top.

Mediterranean Baked Chicken with Kalamata Olives

When you cook as often as I do, you sometimes find yourself falling back on the same formulas. Maybe now that we are on week 7 of quarantine, you all are starting to feel me? When I’m wanting to be extra lazy without losing the wow factor, I reach for this baked chicken with Kalamata olives, which has been a favorite since my early small kitchen days.

The version in my first cookbook is a bastardized Marbella with olives, dates, tomatoes and fresh oregano. The beauty of the dish, and the reason why there was a culinary movement among busy hostesses around The Silver Palette Cookbook, is that it can be assembled in its marinate the night before and baked-off when you’re ready to eat. The domestic genius is a no-brainer. But these rules apply equally to catering – if not more so.

For a while, I had a version of this dish on my dinner party catering menu. Instead of olives and dried fruit, I went an Italian route with sundried tomatoes, white beans, and lots of rosemary. I’ve been meaning to share the recipe on this site forever. But somehow, even though I’ve made it a dozen times, I never manage to snap a pic of the final dish.

A few years ago I catered an Easter lunch and tried out a new Moroccan-style version with preserved lemons and rosemary, inspired by this lamb marinade. Forty person meals are usually not the time to test out a new recipe for the first time. But given the results, I’m even more convinced that this formula is flawless.

For this Kalamata olive chicken, I’ve simplified the marinade even further. You can add any herb you have on hand, even dried.

I assume none of us are having a dinner party anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment on your loved one for a special weekend date night chicken. You will be shocked by where you net out on the deliciousness to easiness ratio.

Since my loved one no longer eats chicken, I shared this Kalamata chicken with my mother who was more than happy to take half the pan off my hands.

About this Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Olives and Potatoes Recipe:

For the first part, you sear the chicken thighs on the stove-top in an oven-proof skillet (preferably a cast-iron skillet), add potatoes, garlic, and chicken stock and bring it to a boil.

Then you add the olives and thyme and transfer it to a pre-heated oven. In just over 30 minutes, you end up with a delicious dinner.

The hands on time in between searing and peeling and quartering the potatoes is less than 15 minutes, which I think is perfect when you need to put dinner on the table on a weeknight.

Reviews ( 24 )

I made this today and it was absolutely fantastic. It had an explosion of different flavors. I didn't have ginger so I substituted for allspice and it was a hit with the entire family!

I kept to the ingredient list but after reading the other reviews I did modify a wee bit. I used 1.5 times the spices because I know we enjoy flavor. I also used boneless/skinless thighs because that's all I had (the package had only 5 thighsI cooked the meat NO LONGER than the time allotted and the chicken was not dry. Oh, I left out the basil since there isn't where I live. That said, what a great meal! The flavor was complex and fresh and over jasmine rice, we left the table satisfied, not stuffed! We were fine with only 1 thigh each.

I made this with a whole chicken plus four thighs (all with the skin removed) instead of the 12 chicken thighs. I also didn't think it needed all the oil that is called for to brown the chicken I only used half and still had several tablespoons in the pan to brown the onions with. Loved this so very much. I will be making this again and again and again.

I probably shouldn't post a review since I made so many alterations but it still turned out good so, I will. I used a combination of thighs and breasts. I only used 1 T of butter, omitting the 2nd and the oil. I didn't have the olives or the dates so I substituted dried figs. Still very tasty. Served with roasted garlic couscous - next time will use jasmine rice to soak up some of the good sauce. Steamed green beans completed the meal. Will add to my weekend favorites it was a bit time consuming for a work night.

This was absolutely delicious! I didn't need the second round of butter and oil. I think it made the sauce a little too oily. Also, I didn't have green olives, so I used black. I increased the salt a bit to make up for the missing brine. Next time, I'll only use the butter and oil once, and add green olives. This dish is definitely going into the regular rotation.

This was good and not overpowering. Used ground ginger, no dates or coriander. Good the next day also.

tasty, though mild flavored dish. Increased the spices and ginger by half and added the olives, in with the dates. Cooked the chicken a bit longer and added baby spinach at the end just to wilt for a little color. Maybe basil in season.

This is a delicious dish! I put it over whole wheat cous-cous. My family loves it!

I thought it was OK. The flavors didn't seem to read though. I'll try it again doubling the spices and lemon juice. Like others, I didn't need the second round of butter/oil. I was a little annoyed at the "basil as garnish". Basil is out of season, so it was difficult to find and added almost nothing to the dish.

Great recipe. We have several recipes that have similar flavors but this is the easiest and best tasting. We served this at a dinner party and everyone wanted the recipe. Will make this again and again. Try it you will like it.

Absolutely delicious and really easy to make. I didn't have dates in the house, so I substituted raisins which gave it the sweetness that contrasted with the olives. Solid recipe that I cannot wait to make again.

Loved this dish. Will try it with Chicken Breast next time because sometimes thighs gross some of my family members out. Served with Quinoa with wilted spinach and a bit of lemon juice in it and simple steamed asparagus with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic salt no joke, this was restaurant worthy. Definitely a comforting dinner I have been thinking about since I made it two weeks ago.

This is very flavorful comfort food and easy to make. Like others I did not add the second round of butter/oil and there was plenty of fat in the pan. Served over whole wheat couscous. Can't wait to eat the leftovers!

Cut back on the amount of thighs and onions, but doubled the spices, knowing that CL is more "kid-friendly", same amount of broth as called for. Simmered a little longer than called for, but that only increased the flavor turned thighs over a couple of times so that both sides got good doses of that flavorful sauce. Planned to serve over cous cous, but had leftover brown rice, which I just tossed into the sauce for 15 min to warm through. Served with steamed green beans, tossed with a little butter and toasted pine nuts. Very nice dinner with leftovers for a hearty lunch. Could easily be dressed up for company.

Like some other reviewers I used less oil/butter only because I didn't need to add more. I started with 1 tablespoon of each and there was always enough fat in the pan to brown the chicken and the onions. That said, we found this very bland and the sauce was more like Southern-cooking gravy than a north African sauce. If is would make the recipe again (and I probably won't) I would double the spices and either eliminated the flour entirely or cut it to two TEASPOONS rather than two tablespoons. I would also add the olives with the dates in the last 10 minutes and rather than chop them I would simply cut them in half. There are much better recipes for chicken with dates (or prunes or figs).

Salade Niçoise is a beautifully composed salad of French origin that looks fancy but is incredibly easy to make. The traditional version is often made with tuna, but here the fish is replaced with baked tofu, which makes a great stand-in. And the array of ingredients—white beans or chickpeas, slender green beans, tomatoes, and olives—makes it a splendid main dish salad for a summer meal, either on busy weeknights or festive occasions.

Italian-food purists might balk at the combination of clams and Parm, but we swear it’s delicious.

Chicken with Olives and Capers Recipe

This dish came about out of necessity, improvised with items I had on hand when some unexpected guests showed up. It was one of my best spontaneous dishes, and now I serve it regularly. The lemon juice tenderizes the chicken and the salty capers and olives mix with the juices to create a sauce. You can use chicken thighs or buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces.


  • 4 large or 8 small organic chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup mixed pitted olives
  • 2 tablespoons drained nonpareil capers
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 400° F, with a rack in the middle position.

Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish. Scatter the lemon wedges, olives, and capers on top of the chicken.

Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake until golden, basting with the juices once, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads 165°F. Serve.

Excerpted from Sweet Paul Eat & Make, © 2014 by Paul Lowe Einlyng. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Chicken Thighs with Onions and Green Olives

Tender and definitely hitting all those high notes of Mediterranean deliciousness.

Passover comes in the Spring, but there is often still a bit of a chill in the air in the evenings as families and friends gather in their homes for Seder dinners. Most of the time, a richly flavored and warming meal is still very much welcome at this time of year – and Jewish tradition kind of leans pretty hard into warm and hearty food, so it all just feels right anyway.

Cooked bone-in chicken thighs are quite tender and can sit for an extra bit of time in the oven without drying out, which is handy for a meal that often can’t be timed precisely.

If you’ve ever tried to time Passover dinner will be hitting the table, then you haven’t been at my house when my Mother thought she put the haggadahs on the top shelf of the linen closet, but there’s just not there. And we thought we had both red and white horseradish, but we didn’t, and Papa really likes the red – can someone run to the store? And Gary was going to make the charoset, and he still fully intends to, but if someone could just peel the apples first, that would definitely be helpful.

A sauce dense with onions, lemon and olives also keeps the meat moist and hits nice notes of savory, sweet, tart, and salty. A bit of hot sauce keeps it lively. So, yes, a dish that can hang out for a bit and still be delicious. And be served hot, sure, but also warm is just fine.

You could serve this right from the pan, or move the cooked chicken to a large plate for a moment, transfer the onions and olives and all of the wonderful sauce to a shallow serving platter, and then place the chicken back on top. Serve with a big bowl of mashed potatoes, or maybe even polenta. On occasions other than Passover, plenty of other starches from fregola to couscous would also be perfect.

A Chicken Provençal is just as delicious made with either white or red wine – but not rosé! Keep that one for sipping on the side. For the recipe pictured here, I used a cup of red wine which creates deeper, heart-warming flavors. Use white wine if you want lighter flavors and lovely fruity notes.

In both cases, white or red, choose a “crisp” wine (meaning, with high-acidity), which is always the best choice for cooking.

  • For whites, great choices are: Pinot Gris , Sauvignon Blanc and unoaked Chardonnay
  • For reds, great choices are: Merlot , Pinot Noir or a light Cabernet are best.
  • Some recipes call for Vermouth , which creates a deeper-tasting sauce with lovely botanical notes.
  • And if you want to keep things one-themed, a Provençal Trebbiano white is perfect.

Recipe adapted from "A Good Food Day: Reboot Your Health with Food That Tastes Great," by Marco Canora with Tammy Walker

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds discarded

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish


1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking to remove the chill. Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

2. In a large ovenproof pan or Dutch oven large enough to hold all the thighs in a single layer, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic cloves to the pan and flip the thighs over. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and has gotten a little brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and garlic from the pan and set aside.

3. With the pan still hot, add the onions, lemon slices and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have wilted and the brown bits on the bottom of the pan have loosened, 6 to 8 minutes. Nestle the thighs skin-side up in the onion mixture and add the garlic and the olives. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Scatter fresh oregano leaves over the top and serve.

  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves without skin
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/3 cup of Taggiasca olives, pitted (or Kalamata)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Step 1) – So let’s show you how to cook chicken with bell peppers onion and olives. First of all wash the bell peppers then remove stems, seeds and inner white. Finally cut the bell peppers into strips. Cut the far ends of the onion, then peel and slice it. Simmer the onion for 3-4 minutes in a large non stick frying pan with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Step 2) – Add the bell peppers and cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon and add a little water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat and leave aside.

Step 3) – Now cut the chicken breasts into small pieces, flour them and shake them down to remove excess flour. In a different pan, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and then add the chicken.

Step 4) – Cook the chicken over high heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add bell peppers, onion and finally the pitted olives. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Chicken with bell peppers, onion and olives now is ready. Season with salt and pepper if necessary, then serve.

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