Chicken Thighs with Green Olives

5 from 8 votes

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Tender and definitely hitting all those high notes of Mediterranean deliciousness, this chicken recipe with green olives and onions is perfect and easy.

Chicken Thighs with Onions and Green Olives / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Winter calls for richly flavored and warming meals, and these tender and juicy chicken thighs braised with a copious amount of green olives and onions are just the ticket. I also love this recipe for the Passover holiday. Passover comes in the late winter/early spring, but there is often still a bit of a chill in the air in the evenings as families and friends gather in their homes for Seder dinners.

You could serve this right from the pan on a more casual occasion or transfer the cooked chicken to a large plate for a moment while you transfer the onions, olives, and all of the wonderful sauce to a shallow serving platter. Then, place the chicken back on top. Serve with a big bowl of mashed potatoes or maybe even polenta! On occasions other than Passover, plenty of other starches from fregola to couscous would also be perfect.

If you’re in a Passover state of mind, check out My Favorite Passover Recipes.

Chicken Thighs with Onions and Green Olives in a pan on a red surface.

Chicken Thighs with Green Olives and Onions Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs – Cooked bone-in chicken thighs are quite forgiving in terms of drying out and can sit for an extra bit of time in the oven without any harm. This is handy for a meal that often can’t be timed precisely.
  • Spices – Cumin, paprika, and allspice give this dish so much warm flavor.
  • Olive oil – The chicken gets seared in oil for a deeper flavor and to crisp up the skin a bit before it gets cooked in the sauce.
  • Yellow onions – Add nice sweetness and balance to the sauce.
  • Chicken broth – Braising the thighs in chicken broth after searing gives them a soft, fall-apart texture.
  • Green olives – I love the salty, Mediterranean flavor that the olives bring to this dish. Try picholine or cerignola olives, and pit them before adding to the dish if possible.
  • Hot sauce – A bit of hot sauce keeps it lively.
  • Lemon – Using whole lemon wedges adds a super intense lemon-y flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich chicken.
  • Parsley – Adds a herby freshness.

How to Make Green Olive Chicken Thighs

  1. Season the chicken: While you preheat the oven, rub the chicken thighs with salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and allspice.
  2. Sear: Heat oil in a large pan and sear the chicken on all sides until brown. Don’t worry about cooking it all the way through. Set aside.
  3. Make the braising liquid: Cook the onions in the same pan until tender but not too brown. Add a little water to prevent overcooking if they are browning too fast. Then add the broth, olives, hot sauce, and lemon wedges.
  4. Bake: Add the chicken back into the pan and push the pieces down into the sauce a bit. Cover and bake it for half an hour, then take off the lid and keep baking until the chicken is cooked all the way through. The skin side that’s not in the sauce should get nice and crispy.
Braised Chicken with Green Olives and lemon.

Pro Cooking Tips

  • This dish can be served hot, but warm is just fine.
  • Sprinkle some fresh thyme over the top for a variation.
  • Use shallots or leeks instead of onions.

What to Serve with Chicken Thighs with Green Olives and Onions

Chicken Dish with Green Olives in a pan on a red surface.

More Chicken Thigh Recipes

5 from 8 votes

Chicken Thighs with Onions and Green Olives

Tender and definitely hitting all those high notes of Mediterranean deliciousness, this chicken recipe with green olives and onions is perfect and easy.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6 People
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Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds chicken thighs (about 6 to 8)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large yellow onions (halved and thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup pitted green olives (halved)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Sriracha)
  • 1 lemon (cut into 8 wedges)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Pat the chicken dry. Combine the salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and allspice. Rub the spice mixture evenly onto the thighs, on both sides.
  • Heat the oil in a very large, deep, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side, then transfer them to a paper towel-lined surface. Do this in batches if necessary.
  • Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat left in the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes until they are very soft and browned, but do not allow them to get too dark; adjust the heat as necessary. You can add a tablespoon of water from time to time as you go if they appear to be getting too brown.
  • Stir in the broth, olives, hot sauce, and lemon wedges. Return all of the chicken to the pan, skin side up, nestling the pieces into the sauce. Cover the pan, place in the oven, and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and tender and the skin is crisped.
  • You can transfer everything to a serving dish or just serve directly from the pan. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.

Notes

  • You could serve this right from the pan, or move the cooked chicken to a large plate for a moment, transfer the onions and olives and all of the wonderful sauce to a shallow serving platter, and then place the chicken back on top.
  • This dish can be served hot, but also warm is just fine.
  • Use shallots or leeks instead of onions.
  • Sprinkle some fresh thyme over the top for a variation.

Nutrition

Calories: 611kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 46g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 222mg, Sodium: 1079mg, Potassium: 665mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 640IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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4 Comments

  1. Tina says:

    So delicious and easy to make!

  2. Marianne Dahl Johnson says:

    So delicious! I only had boneless skinless thighs but the flavor was still incredible! I just cooked it not quite as long. Thanks!

  3. Ivy says:

    Ok, a bit of preface.

    Years ago, I enjoyed a chicken dish at a party that consisted of chicken, olives, and prunes. And while not a prime fan by any means, I loved it! I thought, get rid of the prunes, and it’d be glorious!

    So tonight, I was really craving that flavor, bit no prunes. I googled ‘chicken and greet olives’ just to see what came up. And out of all the recipes that came up, I saw that yours had no votes or stars. And I said, that’s the one I’m using.

    Amazing. Inspired. Thank you so much for this!!

    I did make some modifications. I had drumsticks and thighs, so I used them both. I added 3 cloves of crushed garlic to the sauce as well as some oregano. And I served it on a rice pilaf. Just extraordinary!!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      I love this comment! thank you for sharing!! I like your modifications for sure.