This is one of my favorite dishes to make as soon as the weather turns. You can do this is one pot on the stove/oven or just the stove, with a salty and acidic flavor with comforting sauce coating the chicken. I love any excuse to eat olives, and so I use two different kinds here. Also capers, garlic, herbs, white wine, stock, and lemon. Are you sold yet?
For a quicker meal make it with boneless, skinless chicken breast (booooo), and it comes together on just the stove in under 30 minutes. For skin-on, bone-in chicken this is a braise and will take slightly longer as you’ll cook it in the oven so the chicken cooks through. If you use whole pieces, this looks gorgeous on a large platter with the sauce, olives, and lemons arranged around.
If you use skin-on chicken, put on your patience pants and make sure to REALLY crisp up all that fat. Give it enough time to take on a deep color. You can see from these photos I didn’t let my chicken brown long enough – my daughter was doing something naughty that I needed to deal with and I just had to get the pot in the oven. So, APOLOGIES, internet, for the lackluster chicken skin. Yours will look EVEN BETTER.
The other great part about this recipe is it is very forgiving – I usually don’t measure ingredients for this one, and if you use more or less chicken just scale up or down on amount of lemons/olives/capers and adjusting the amount of liquid via the wine and stock. The only real “requirement” is to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way. If your sauce is too thin, once you’ve removed everything from the pot simply add a few tablespoons of flour or cornstarch and whisk to thicken (TIP: spoon some of the sauce into a small bowl and add cornstarch there to combine first, and then pour it into the pot – don’t put cornstarch right into your dish).
Lemon Olive Chicken
The method below is for boneless, skinless chicken prepared on the stovetop. Alternate instructions for bone-in chicken braised in the oven are in the notes section.
- 2 lbs chicken, if skinless/boneless cut into even portions
- 1.5 cups pitted olives, I use green and oil-cured black olives
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 TBS capers (drained)
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 TBS butter
- seasoning - salt, pepper, dried herbs if wanted
Pat chicken dry and thoroughly season with salt and pepper.
Heat large dutch oven or pot to medium-high heat and add a few glugs of olive oil to coat the base.
Brown the chicken thoroughly on all sides, allowing a few minutes for each side.
Remove chicken and set aside, lower heat to medium.
Melt the butter and stir against the bottom of the pot to release browned bits.
Place the lemon slices in the pot and cook for 1 minute on each side.
Add the wine, stirring up any remaining bits stuck to the base of the pot, and allow it to cook for a minute
Add the capers, garlic, and olives, mixing to combine.
Gently place the chicken back into the pot.
Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a hard simmer.
Cook for 10-15 minutes so the chicken is cooked through, turning chicken halfway.
Remove chicken and all other pieces and place on a large platter.
If you want a thicker sauce, you can add another tablespoon of butter and/or flour or cornstarch, whisking to combine and thicken.
Pour sauce over chicken and serve.
To use bone-in chicken, once the chicken is browned and the sauce is prepared, return the chicken to the pot, cover, and place in a 350 oven for at least 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce has reduced.