Chicken With Green Olives


Chicken with green olives is a Middle Eastern dish made with chicken and green olives. It’s simple to make, healthy, and tastes wonderful. I recommend you try it! Chicken with Green Olives is a quick and easy dish to make! It’s creamy, tasty, and delicious. Are you a fan of Chicken with Green Olives? I have the perfect recipe for you.

Chicken Breast With Green Olive Gremolata

When it’s time for a quick weeknight meal thin sliced chicken breast is one of my go-tos! In this recipe for chicken with green olives, a quick dredge in flour keeps the meat tender and the gremolata sauce gives it amazing WOW factor!

Top view of a skillet of chicken breast in green olive gremolata sauce with lemons.

Hello, all!

In keeping with my New Year’s resolution to make more healthy, quick and delicious meals to share with all of you, I bring you my latest chicken recipe! 30 minutes, tender meat, and big punch of flavor are all going to put this recipe in your steady rotation.

What Is Gremolata?

Okay, so what is gremolata? I’m glad you asked!  It is an Italian herb sauce, which at its simplest is made with three ingredients – parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.

Here I’ve added a few more flavors – orange zest, shallots, and green olives; and I’ve made it a sauce by adding lemon and orange juices along with white wine. So, while the base of my recipe is inspired by the classic gremolata, consider my recipe to be a variation on the theme.

A serving spoon lifting a piece of chicken and some sauce from the skillet.

What Do You Need?

  • Chicken Breast – You can use thin sliced and keep it simple, or use regular sized breasts and slice each one into two cutlets
  • Green Olives – Any pitted, unstuffed olives* work in the recipe
  • Garlic/Shallots – A little of each, all diced up
  • Parsley – Only fresh!
  • Citrus – You can go with just lemon or orange or a mix of both
  • White Wine – Or vermouth! Just a bit either way to make the sauce

*I used pitted Castelvetrano olives

Ingredients for the recipe.

How To Make This

To make chicken with green olives in a gremolata sauce, dredge the breast in flour and pan fry until browned and cooked through. Then make a quick sauce from garlic, shallots, parsley, citrus, and white wine. Serve chicken and olives with the sauce.

1. Cook The Chicken

Start with thin sliced breast meat, either premade at the store or do it yourself with good, sharp knife. Once you have it, season it well with kosher salt and black pepper. Doing this directly to the meat (instead of mixing the seasonings in the flour) means it will be properly seasoned.

Then dredge in flour – all-purpose, rice, corn, these are all good! Rice or corn flour will make the meal gluten-free.

Now heat the oil in your skillet and add the chicken. Fry, turning about once a minute until it is cooked through and golden brown.

Tip: Keep turning the meat. This will allow the outside to get well browned before the center of the meat finishes cooking and starts to dry out.

2. Make The Sauce

As soon as the meat is done, be ready to make the sauce! It’s quick and easy so long as you do the prep work ahead of time. Everything should be chopped, organized, and ready to go.

The skillet is going to be very hot, so take it off the heat to start and add the garlic and shallots. A minute off heat should be enough, then back on to finish cooking them.

Next add the wine and bring it to a boil. Cook and reduce.

Now add the rest of the ingredients and heat it all through. Nothing here really needs to be cooked, just hot. And off the heat again to add a little softened butter. This will make the sauce all thick and glossy.

Step by step on how to prepare the chicken for the recipe.

Tips For Juicy Chicken Breast

I have a few tips (all of which I used in the recipe) for making the best, tastiest, juiciest chicken breast.

  • Season the Meat – This is the first thing I do when making the recipe. Sprinkling on the kosher salt and black pepper makes sure the meat is seasoned and not bland. Have some extra time? Let it sit for 40 minutes before you start cooking.
  • Coat the Meat – There is an immense improvement between chicken put naked into the skillet and that which has been dredged in flour. The flour protects the meat and makes all the difference.
  • Turn the Meat – It takes time for the heat of the skillet to get to the middle. By turning the pieces frequently you allow hot sides to cool off a bit while searing the other side. On every piece of meat I’ve tried this technique, I ended up with nicely browned outsides and evenly cooked insides. In this case, it means it won’t be dry so long as you pull off once it is up to temperature.


You can put this Green Olive Chicken dish together in minutes, pop it in the oven and forget about it until dinner. A baked chicken dish loaded with cherry tomatoes, green olives, garlic and lemon zest for lots of flavour. Easy enough for mid week dinners and fancy enough for weekend entertaining.

close up of baked green olive chicken
Green Olive Chicken

Easy, easy, easy chicken dish!  This is one of my go to chicken recipes for guests if I am in a hurry and cannot think of anything else to make.  It takes minutes to put together and then you can just pop it in the oven and forget about it until it’s time to eat. 

Admittedly, it’s not a favourite dish for my kids. They much prefer the Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings or the Crispy Chicken Tenders. One hope, my only hope in life, is that one day they will like all my food….hahaha. A mom can dream, right?

What We Need To Make The Green Olive Chicken

  • Chicken thighs ( I used without skin)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green olives
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper

REMEMBER, The full recipe and instructions can be found at the end of the post in the recipe card.

Let’s Make The Green Olive Chicken

  • Make the marinade, in a small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  • Put the chicken in a deep sided baking dish, and evenly spoon over the marinade.

  • Slice the olives and garlic, it’s best to use olives that are already pitted. Peel the garlic and slice it in half.
  • Evenly sprinkle over the top the tomatoes, olives and garlic slices, just make sure the entire top is somewhat covered.
  • Bake the chicken, in a preheated 375 degrees f/190 degrees c oven. The chicken will be done when juices run clear and it’s browned on the top.

MAKE AHEAD TIP! At this stage, you can cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook the chicken.

Enjoy The Chicken

Like I said earlier, this really is one of my go to dishes. It’s easy to make and absolutely delicious. And did I not mention how easy it is! It really doesn’t get a whole lot easier than this easy dish. I’ve been making this dish for almost 20 years and it really never ever disappoints.

Here’s A Few Tips To Get This Chicken Just Right

  • Use all of the ingredients listed in the recipe card! For once in my life, I’m saying no to substitutions for this dish. Everything is needed to bring all the deliciousness that this dish deserves.
  • Let the chicken rest, when you take it out of the oven, allow it to sit for about 15 minutes before serving. The chicken will be more tender and flavourful, if you leave it for just a small amount of time before serving.
close up of the green olive chicken
Green Olive Chicken

Can You Use White Chicken Meat For This Reicpe

Okay, I’ve made this with both chicken breasts and chicken thighs. Hands down, the thighs are better. If you do choose to use chicken breasts for this recipe, I strongly suggest using bone in with skin on. Otherwise the chicken will be dry.

What Would Be Great To Serve With This Chicken

  • Grains – You Could choose the Roasted Vegetable CouscousHarissa Spiced Quinoa or the Summer Quinoa Salad
  • Potatoes – The Crispy Oven Roasted Parmesan Baby Potatoes would be fantastic! As well, the Thyme & Lemon Roasted Potatoes would be great also.
  • Salads – The quick and easy Goat Cheese & Pecan Salad, the Roasted Pepper & Feta Salad or the Garden Vegetable Salad in a Honey Lime Dressing would all work well.

close up of the green olive chicken
Green Olive Chicken

I hope you enjoy the chicken dish and get a chance to make it sometime. It’s a keeper. Happy cooking friends and I’ll be back soon with more delicious kitchen inspiration.

Middle Eastern braised chicken with green olives

TIME:30 mins – 1 hourSERVES:4

Neil Perry's Middle Eastern chicken casserole.
Neil Perry’s Middle Eastern chicken casserole

Try to source quality free-range chicken, if possible. The flavour will be great and well worth the effort – and, ideally, you won’t need to use chicken stock. Serve with a simple fennel and orange salad and cous cous or rice.


60ml extra virgin olive oil

8 free-range chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on

1½ tsp sea salt 

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp sweet paprika

30g Italian parsley leaves, chopped

30g coriander leaves, chopped

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 pinches saffron, steeped in 30ml boiling water

2 large red onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly

500ml boiling water (or chicken stock if you prefer a deeper chicken flavour)

400g large green olives, pitted

juice of 2 lemons

coriander to garnish


1. Place a casserole dish with 30ml olive oil over a medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon salt and sear in the hot oil in two batches (adding a bit more oil for second batch, if necessary) to brown the skin – about seven minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Discard all oil and wipe out pan.

2. Using a mortar and pestle (or a blender), crush the garlic, ginger, pepper, cumin, paprika, parsley, coriander and ½ teaspoon salt into a paste with the three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and saffron water.

3. Place remaining 30ml olive oil in the casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the sliced onion and spice paste and cook gently, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes, until onion becomes translucent. Stir in the chicken thighs so that they are coated in the spice mix. Continue stirring while slowly adding the boiling water (or chicken stock). Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the casserole and cook for 30 minutes.

4. Add the olives, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat and rest, uncovered, for five minutes. At this stage, you can remove the chicken and reduce the sauce if it’s a little too watery.

5. Place chicken on plates, spoon over olives and sauce, garnish with coriander and serve.

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