My Recipe Box

Braised Chicken with Marinara, Lemon & Olives

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Serves three to four.

  • 2-1/2 to 3 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken legs and thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 3 medium onions, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth or water
  • 1-1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, 5 to 6 inches long
  • 4 paper-thin slices lemon (with peel)
  • 2/3 cup brine-cured olives, pitted and quartered

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large (10-inch) sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onions, season with salt, and cook gently until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes; stir occasionally and encourage the onions to break apart a bit. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables and any small bits of garlic or onion to a plate.

If the pan looks dry, add another 1 Tbs. oil. Increase the heat to medium high and when the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down. Cook until well browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Pour off and discard the oil in the pan. Return the pan to the heat and pour in the broth or water. Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits and cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Lower the heat to medium and return the garlic, onions, and chicken to the pan. Pour the marinara over the chicken and tuck in the thyme and lemon slices. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, turning the chicken once halfway through. Stir in the olives and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through (the jucies should run clear when pricked). Another 10 to 15 minutes.   

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): 38; Fat Calories (kcal): 340; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 42; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 20; Carbohydrates (g): 21; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): 1250; Cholesterol (mg): 140; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have been making this dish for a few years and it is always a go to winter dish for me. It is a great way to use the mother marninara sauce from the original recipe. I especially like the addition of the lemons as it brightens the flavor. The use the skin and bone in thighs deepens the flavor. I am going to change it up this time with the use of roasted lemons and add a smaller quanity of the fresh lemons. I generally don't add the amount of olives in the recipe. As with all my cooking, I add more of what I like and less of what I don't!

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