13 Nov

Chicken with Olives & Lemons

Bubba ordered this wonderful dish our first week in Italy and never saw it again on a menu. He loved the salty olives baked with the succulent chicken, so it was up to me to recreate it for him! You will need a large covered casserole dish. I use chicken breasts, but any bone-in pieces would work well.

  • 1 cup large green olives (pitted)
  • 1/2 cup small black olives (kalamata-type)
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 6 split chicken breasts (with bones & skin)
  • Black pepper
  • Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Handful fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Handful fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon (or about 1/4 cup)

Heat oven to 350°. Rinse the olives and capers and soak in tap water for 30 minutes (this will remove a lot of the salt), then drain. Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large oven-proof casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with black pepper, to taste. Fry two or three pieces of chicken at a time in the olive oil, over medium heat, for about five minutes per side, until crisp and brown. When brown, remove to plate, and continuing browning the remainder of the chicken.

Layer half of the chicken in the bottom of the casserole and top with half of the olive and caper mixture, half of the herbs, half of the lemon peel and half of the lemon juice. Repeat with the remaining chicken, olives, herbs, lemon peel and juice. (See photo above.)

Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. Let rest for ten minutes and serve.

Serves 6.

NOTES: The dish Bubba ordered in Florence used unpitted olives – I used pitted olives only for politeness-in-eating-value. Use what you have/wish. There is no salt added in the recipe, as even with soaking, the olives are still salty. Salt at the table, if needed. You will only need a simple green salad and a crusty loaf of bread with this dish… and a nice glass of Tuscan wine! The chicken smells so good while it is baking – you won’t have to call anyone to dinner!

RV NOTES: Browning the bird will cause splattering, but this is a dish you can prep at home and have ready to bake in the RV oven. Refrigerate immediately after browning if you are going to bake it later in the day, or up to one day.

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