Herb and Olive Chicken


13 Jan Herb and Olive Chicken


We’re heading into the mother of all cold snaps. If the Weather Network is right, the warmest day this week will be a lip-chapping -15C. Celsius always sounds colder than Fahrenheit, but keep in mind that anything with a minus sign in front of it means you can make ice. Without an appliance.

When cars won’t start and school kids are kept indoors at recess, you know the tomatoes at the grocery store will be hot-house-tasteless and have the texture of a soft bar of soap. In most cases, you’d be better off eating the soap. So, tinned tomatoes are my only option right now. Fortunately, fresh herbs and real garlic elevate tinned tomatoes to a dish worthy of the sun-soaked Mediterranean.

A splash of wine doesn’t hurt.

Or an olive or two…


The basis of this recipe came from Joyce Goldstein’s Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen. When I made her recipe my husband loved the sauce but complained there wasn’t enough of it. So I fiddled significantly with proportions, added some thyme and produced what I call Herb and Olive Chicken. Not a fancy name, but it made me forget the thermometer — for a few minutes.


Herb and Olive Chicken
Printable Recipe

Serves 6


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, skin removed
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 tin (28 oz) diced tomatoes, drained OR 4 to 6 fresh tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sage, minced (more for garnish)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced (more for garnish)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced (more for garnish)
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (more for garnish)
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine


  1. Season chicken on both sides with fresh ground pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet. Add olive oil and saute the chicken on both sides until brown, about 5 minutes a side.
  3. Add the garlic, olives, tomatoes and herbs.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, over low heat for about 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked all the way through. (Mine takes 45 minutes since the pieces are extra big.)
  5. Remove chicken from the skillet, leaving as much sauce behind as you can. Cover the chicken with foil and slit to let steam escape.
  6. While the chicken rests, add the wine to the skillet. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced by at least half. I prefer it a bit thicker, but if you serve over pasta, you might want the sauce a bit thinner.
  7. When the sauce has thickened to your liking, pour it over the chicken.
  8. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs.
  9. Serve immediately.

Related Post

No Comments
  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 11:37h, 13 January Reply

    OMG! That looks fabulous!

  • cheryl
    Posted at 13:58h, 13 January Reply

    Your soft bar of soap analogy is perfection.

    I need to use canned tomatoes for more than just chili and marinara, and I *love* olives. This sounds really good.

    Sta warm, and double-up on that hand cream!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 16:01h, 13 January Reply

    Thanks, Dana. It’s one of the few dishes Andrew commented on before eating. He loved the smell. I guess it was all that garlic.

    Cheryl, too bad olives and coconut don’t go together. Or do they?

  • cheryl
    Posted at 18:58h, 13 January Reply

    Wow, I, um, hmmm. I’m trying to make it work in my head, I really am, but no, I’m with you on this one. They don’t work.

    Sad, too.

  • The Culinary Chase
    Posted at 05:34h, 15 January Reply

    YUM! I love tomatoes & chicken especially with the herbs you added! Cheers!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 10:42h, 16 January Reply

    Cheryl, I suggest you don’t even try to combine these two. Sorry to have sent you down that road.

    Culinary Chase, thanks for dropping by. It is hard to go wrong with this classic combo, isn’t it?

  • jodi (bloomingwriter)
    Posted at 16:19h, 11 February Reply

    MMM. I would love this. Hubby would not. He hates olives, or thinks he does. He’s a work in progress…..

Post A Reply to The Culinary Chase Cancel Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!