Chicken fused with Mediterranean flavors of lemon, olives, and tomatoes make this a popular year round dish for us. Using chicken on the bone means moist chicken, and the olives and tomatoes make it almost a complete meal. Just add some brown rice which can be simmering while your chicken is baking. Drizzle some of the marinade over the rice when you serve and add an optional side salad–dinner is done.
Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes
- 2 chicken breasts on the bone, cut in half again
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
- 1 cup pitted green olives
- 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper (about 1 tsp of each).
- Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF
- Place each 1/2 breast on top of a 1/2 garlic clove in a 9 x 13 pan, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper; if you are making brown rice, start that now
- In a medium bowl toss together all the remaining ingredients, including more salt and pepper. Spoon this over the chicken letting the olives and tomatoes roll off, but spreading some of the marinade & parsley on the chicken
- Bake for 45 minutes; test largest piece of chicken by piercing with a fork and looking at the juice; it should be clear, not pink and not murky at all.
- If possible, ask your butcher to cut the chicken in half…or carefully do it yourself with a very sharp heavy knife; alternately, you can cook the whole chicken breast. I like the halves because they are a better serving portion but a complete 1/2 breast works well too (1 chicken breast is technically a 1/2 breast).
- Don’t skip the parsley in this recipe. Often I leave our parsley if it’s more of a garnish and I’m pressed for time, but the parsley in this dish is a significant flavor and color.
- I use the pre-pitted olives (most olive bars will carry them). I pour off the brine but don’t rinse them. You can rinse the olives if you want a less salty flavor (but I like the salt). I’ve never used jarred olives but I’m sure that’s an option.
- Donna Hay does a variation using boneless chicken with olives and tomatoes which shortens the cooking time. Let me know if you try it!
Credit goes to Australian chef and cookbook author, Donna Hay– who has many fabulous and beautiful cookbooks. I’ve modified the recipe slightly but the original inspiration is all hers. I cannot remember which one this comes from but I used Flavors a lot. She has so many great cookbooks that I would peruse them all before picking one. And Hay’s website is great too.