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Easy Lemon Chicken with Olives

Updated on April 14, 2013
5 stars from 1 rating of Easy Lemon Chicken with Olives

This is a delicious, vibrant chicken recipe, that raises the standard chicken and rice to a whole new flavorful level. The brininess of the olives, and the bright hit of lemon make this Mediterranean inspired meal great for entertaining.

Gweneth Paltrow recently cooked a similar recipe while visiting The Chew, although she used bone-in, skin on chicken. My preference for this recipe is chicken thighs, because they never dry out, and the meal can simmer on the stove while you are entertaining guests.

The pictures are of chicken breast, and my olives were stuffed with garlic, because that is what I had on hand. Make sure the liquid simmers, and not boils, whenever the chicken is in the pot, to prevent the meat from getting tough.

Also it is crucial to only add the lemon juice at the very end, so it does not get bitter. The zest on the other hand, is added early on, to impart a lot of lemon flavor. Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: Very generous 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in large pieces, or
  • 10- 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and slightly smashed
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cup + 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 3/4 cup green olives
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • rice
  1. In a heavy dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Generously season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown in pan for 5 minutes per side. They do not need to be cooked through.
  2. Remove chicken to a plate. Add onion pieces, and generously salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium low until begin to soften 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves that were gently smashed with the side of a big knife. Cover and continue to cook another 2- 3 minutes.
  3. Add the wine to the pan, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce the liquid by half over a few minutes. Turn the heat up to medium or medium high to speed this along. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the 2 cups of stock, the olives and the zest of the lemon. Cover and turn to low, simmer for 20 minutes, or up to 2 hours if using chicken thighs
  4. Remove the chicken to a plate again. Mix together the 2 tablespoons chicken stock and the cornstarch until combined. Add to the pan and bring to a boil for a minute or two to thicken the liquid. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Just before serving, squeeze the juice of the entire lemon over top, and tuck the lemon halves in the liquid. Serve over rice.


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    • kitkat1141 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hope you all give it a try. Makes a nice twist on chicken and rice!

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      5 years ago from South of France

      This one's right up my street, I do variations myself but this is a new one I'll have to try - thanks!

    • kitkat1141 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you all for looking! I had the leftovers last night, and I think the flavor is even better the next day! Just be sure to store the rice and chicken separately.

    • gags3480 profile image


      5 years ago from Kanpur, India

      Nice hub. I really like chicken recipes a lot & your presentation is really good.

      Voted up & shared.

    • IslandBites profile image


      5 years ago from Puerto Rico


    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      This looks really good--I am vegetarian, so I might substitute a tofu something for the chicken--but lemon and olives have my moth watering!

    • Kasman profile image


      5 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      KitKat, this looks crazily appetizing. I'm a sucker for anything mediterranean. I may have to make this soon. Thanks for the great pictures. I'm voting this up and sharing!


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