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Grilled Chicken Breasts with Green-Olive Relish

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

This is the perfect fix for those nights when you want a deeply flavorful chicken breast, but don’t have the luxury of time for a rub or marinade. This relish, with its combination of olives, almonds, capers, lemon zest, and herbs is so good, you’ll skip the marinade more often.  


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • About 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. whole green olives (about 1-1/2 cups), such as Lucques or Picholine, rinsed, pitted, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2-1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 small clove garlic, pounded to a paste with a pinch of salt

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on 4 servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 640
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 510
  • Fat (g): 57
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 40
  • Cholesterol (mg): 75
  • Sodium (mg): 1360
  • Carbohydrates (g): 5
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 30


  • Prepare a hot grill fire.
  • Put one chicken breast on one side of a large piece of plastic wrap. Drizzle about 1 tsp. oil on the breast and loosely fold half of the plastic wrap over the chicken. (There should be enough room to allow the chicken to expand when you pound it.) Using a meat mallet or a heavy sauté pan, pound the chicken so that it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Discard the plastic wrap and repeat the process with the remaining breasts. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and coat with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the olives, almonds, capers, parsley, lemon zest, thyme, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the oil.
  • Lay the chicken on the grill and cook, undisturbed, until it has grill marks, 2 to 3 min. Flip the chicken and continue to grill until it’s cooked through, about 2 to 3 min. more. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Let rest for 2 to 3 min. Holding your knife at an angle, cut the chicken into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arrange them on a platter or on four dinner plates. Spoon the relish on top or to the side of the chicken and serve immediately.

Serve with Heirloom Cherry Tomato, Fennel & Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • jbeard | 03/04/2009

    Fixed this for my beautiful wife. It was awesome. I did use less EVOO than suggested. Also watch the salt you add, the olives my provide enough.

  • User avater
    Amy | 04/23/2008

    REALLY good, although I cut back on the olive oil quite a bit. Enjoy a glass of nice Rose with it.

  • ValerieMO | 10/26/2007

    This is GOOD and easy; my husband loves this dish. Did I say it was easy to make?

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