Recipe By Chef John
Published Apr 2nd
Chicken and Olives
Prep 15m Cook 20m Additional 10m Ready In 45m
Servings 4 servings Calories 641.5

The sharp, briny bite of olives is the dominant flavors here, which is why it pairs so well with chicken breast. This is one of those dishes where, if you tasted the chicken and sauce separately, you probably wouldn’t be very impressed, but together they’re magic.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup sliced shallots
  • ½ cup pitted and sliced green olives
  • ½ cup brine-cured pitted olives, such as Kalamata, halved lengthwise and brine reserved
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into four pieces

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Season skin-side of chicken with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Turn breasts over and season skinless side with salt, black pepper, cayenne, and herbes de Provence. Turn again so that the skin-side is facing up; rest for 10 minutes.
  2. 2 Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Place chicken skin-side down in hot oil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook chicken until skin is well-browned, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken and cook until just browned, about 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  3. 3 Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir shallots in the hot skillet until just softening and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir olives into shallots and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. 4 Pour the chicken broth into the skillet; bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive brine, lemon zest, and cumin; increase heat to high and cook until sauce is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. 5 Reduce heat to low and return chicken, skin-side up, to the skillet. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Remove chicken to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
  6. 6 Stir parsley and butter into sauce, stirring continuously until butter is melted and sauce is shiny. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 641.5
  • Carbohydrate 6.7 g
  • Cholesterol 206.6 mg
  • Fat 37.1 g
  • Fiber 1.8 g
  • Protein 69.1 g
  • Saturated Fat 10.4 g
  • Sodium 901.3 mg
  • Sugar 0.4 g


  1. This is the first time I have rated and reviewed any of the many dishes from Allrecipes that we have used. This reminded me of the south of France. The only thing that I question is what to do with the remainder of the olive brine after adding the 2 tbsps? The next time I - Read more ...
  2. DELICIOUS!!! We used thighs instead of breasts but it was still delicious. What a delectable combination of flavors. One of our new favorite recipes...thank you Chef John and Allrecipes.
  3. This was FANTASTIC!!! I cut up a whole chicken because that's what I had it cooked accordingly. I also had garlic stuffed green olives which brought a nice additional extra something. I used a splash of vermouth to deglaze the pan as well. This is def going into the rotation.
  4. Wonderful! I was super skeptical but made this anyway. It was really a rich wonderful flavor. I would expect this from an expensive itailan restaurant.
  5. Did not love it but was ok. Followed recipe exactly and served over cous cous. Probably won't make again. My husband said it smelled better than it tasted.
  6. The chicken was amazing - lot of flavor, but the amount of olives was probably too much. Next time, I would halve the olives, but still use the brine. Thanks to this recipe, I've discovered Herbes de Provence, which are lovely.
  7. Chicken was wonderful!! What a great combination of flavors. The only change I made was using boneless skinless chicken breasts. I paired with roasted garlic couscous. Definitely a keeper! Thanks!
  8. I made this recipe and followed Chef Johns instructions without any changes. My husband and I loved it!!! We served it over rice but we think it would taste awesome over couscous too. Our 6 year old picky eater didn't eat the olives but enjoyed the chicken on its own. I will definitely be cooking - Read more ...
  9. Delicious and unique tasting. The flavors are complex and satisfying. This is a great meal to have when you want a dish that stands out from the rest. I substituted beef broth but will use chicken broth (as per the recipe) next time because I think it will give a more subtle flavor.