Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chicken and Olives – Shaken and Stirred

As I mention in the video, I’ve done almost 1,000 videos, and yet can’t remember ever featuring chicken and olives in one before. Considering how brilliant a combination they are, this is nothing short of astounding. I think there are a few in our famous arroz con pollo recipe, but as far as full co-star billing, this is the first time.

Hopefully, it was worth the wait. For that to be the case, you should probably really like, if not love, olives. Their sharp, briny bite is the dominant flavor here, which is why it pairs so well with chicken breast. This one of those dishes where if you tasted the chicken and sauce separately, you probably wouldn’t be very impressed, but together – magic.

Any pitted olives will work, but the Kalamata and Castelvetrano varieties are highly recommended. Luckily, most every large grocery now has an olive bar somewhere, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them. Speaking of finding products, you may actually have a harder time locating the Herbs De Provence.

We haven’t used this Mediterranean dried-herb blend in a while, and if you can find it, it’s worth picking up a bottle. Trust me, you’ll use the rest this grilling season. If you can’t find any, you can always make your own, and I’ve listed the ingredients below. Anyway, if you’ve been looking for a new chicken recipe, especially one with olives in it, then I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
2 tsp Herbs De Provence (the brand I used contained dried chervil, basil, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, lavender, marjoram, savory, thyme, and parsley)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1 cup sliced olives
1 cup chicken broth
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp reserved Kalamata olive brine
1/2 tsp cumin
zest from one lemon
2 tbsp Italian parsley
2 tbsp cold butter, cut in 4 pieces


Kenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenny said...

Do you think this would work as a martini chicken dish if I deglazed with some gin or would that clash?

Anthony Vaiana said...

Hey Chef John, I know you do this in some of your videos, but do you think you could go over some of the equipment that you use? Maybe show us the kind of knives you use and cookware and anything else you might have?

Anthony Vaiana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kir said...

Great recipe! Although I made it with a chicken thighs. Have a feeling that it's even better than breasts :)

Angela Hariram said...

Hi Chef John, I love this combination, am going to be trying this and the asparagus tart, on different night, but would they go together? If not what sides would you suggest? Oh and will skinless breasts do? TIA

Kyle Young said...

Lior Goell said...

my favorite recipe from your site contains chicken with olives:

Cassidy Anderson said...

fond! thanks for the great recipe.

PositiveAlanna said...

I always called the deliciousness on the bottom of the pan, "the fond", but I am not sure if that's actually what it is called. It may also be referred to as "flavour".

Recipe Looks Great!

Xandrios said...

I'm actually living very close to Kalamata so its nice to see something like this pass by!

By the way John, do you know that your background-piano-tune is being used in a Greek radio advertisement for risotto rice? ( lol.

We harvest olives (for personal use) each year and it may be good to mention that they are not always stored in a brine. In the US they probably are since they keep longer that way, but within Europe these can be found also in oil. In which case you will definitely have to add extra salt to this dish.

Chef John said...

Angela, I think they be fine together! Otherwise I can't pick sides, since I don't know what you like. Any standard chicken sides will work!

Chef John said...

Kenny, that sounds terrible to me ;)

Dale Meyer said...

This looks awesome. I've substituted green olives in place of capers for Chicken Piccata before and it was good. This recipe is more elegant.

Moxie said...

Hi Chef John, love your videos! Keep 'em coming! Could you tell me why you would want to use certain pans over others? For example, why use stainless steel for this recipe vs a enamelled iron pan? Or does it matter? I'm always wondering this in your videos why you use one over the other.


Moxie said...

Hi Chef John, love your videos! Keep 'em coming! Could you tell me why you would want to use certain pans over others? For example, why use stainless steel for this recipe vs a enamelled iron pan? Or does it matter? I'm always wondering this in your videos why you use one over the other.


Chris K. said...

Hi Moxie!

Enameled cast iron is denser than stainless steel, which means it takes longer to heat up and cool down.

Stainless steel is preferred in recipes where quick heat control is desired, like this one. You can quickly adjust the temperature of the pan from high (when searing the chicken) to low (reducing the sauce).

But really it doesn't matter, use whatever you're most comfortable with. As long as you're paying attention to your food it'll turn out great!

philogaia said...

I love good olives, good pan sauce and nearly all meat. So this is looking good. My first thought was if I want boneless skin on breasts I will have to do it myself! Then I read Kir's comment about thighs and I'm thinking, oh yeah. Bone in thighs. Ayep. But if I'm parting out a chicken this could be an excellent use for breast as they are so low in fat it is challenging to find a good treatment for them.

Oh, and I think the words you are looking for are fond (for the good stuff in the pan) and deglazing (for pulling said good stuff into the sauce.)

Kelsey Taylor said...

These are my favorite recipes! The simple, easy and delicious dinners. I will definitely be making this soon! I also love that you started leaving in the quiet background noise of the cooking in the video. I'm pretty sure that's new!

cookinmom said...

I'm FOND of your cookin'!

Ed Adams said...


Your video recipe for Chicken D'Annedolini (spelling) featured chicken and olives and was fantastic.

Aidann said...

This must happen this week!

Food Junkie said...

Chicken and olives, two of my favourite things together. Now I am grumpy that I am going away for a week and can't try this until I get back.

Skyjackie737 said...

Will any green olive do?

jessewilson002 said...

In response to an earlier comment

"This allows the cook to scrape the dark spots from the bottom of the pan and dissolve them, incorporating the remaining browned material at the bottom of the pan into a basic sauce.[2] The culinary term fond, French for "base" or "foundation", refers to this sauce, although it is also sometimes used to describe the browned food bits instead (commonly in the United States)."

straight from wikipedia.

Now if this ever comes up on Jeopardy, you'll have a better chance of getting the question right.

Peter Sices said...

Awesome! I made this tonight for my family and it was a smash hit. Love the intense olive flavors. Not sure that I could discern the Herbs de Provence through that, but it didn't matter, as I just wanted to lick the plate, the bowl, the pan, and the knives :)

PeaJesMom said...

I made your Chicken & Olive last night. The recipe looked and sounded tantalizing so I decided to try it! WOW! I never would have thought Chicken & Olives would pair as well as they do. Outstanding chicken dish! Everyone, try this as recipe as Chef John presents it before you feel the need to “put your own spin” on it. Great Job Chef John!

* * * * * * * * * * * * said...

Chef John,

Guess what I'm having Tues. for supper (it's my turn to cook)? Can't wait to try the olives w/ chicken.

I live in a priory with other men. What would you serve as a side in addition to the salad?

Thanks for your ideas.