On the Job: Mediterranean Baked Chicken with Kalamata Olives

When you cook as often as I do, you sometimes feel yourself falling back on the same formulas. This chicken dish has been a favorite since my early small kitchen days. The version in our book is a bastardized Marbella with olives, dates, tomatoes and fresh oregano. The beauty of the dish, and the reason why there was a culinary movement among busy hostesses around The Silver Palette Cookbook, is that it can be assembled in its marinate the night before and baked-off when you’re ready to eat. The genius as a hostess’ family style feast is a no-brainer. But these rules apply equally to catering – if not more so.

For a while, I had a version of this dish on my dinner party catering menu. Instead of olives and dried fruit, I went an Italian route with sundried tomatoes, white beans, and lots of rosemary. I’ve been meaning to share the recipe on this site forever. But somehow, even though I’ve made it a dozen times, I never manage to snap a pic of the final dish.

Last weekend for the Easter lunch I catered, I tried out a new Moroccan-style version with preserved lemons and rosemary, inspired by this lamb marinade. Forty person meals are usually not the time to test out a new recipe for the first time. But given the results, I’m even more convinced that this formula is flawless.

I’ve simplified the marinade to share with you. You can add preserved lemons if you like. I did so before the actual baking of the chicken. But I figured you all might be a little sick of preserved lemons by now. I’m trying to control myself.

Try out this recipe for your next dinner party. You will be shocked by where you net out on the deliciousness to easiness ratio.

Happy Monday!


Mediterranean Baked Chicken with Kalamata Olives

Serving Size: Makes 6

This dish is like a dumbed down Marbella, which is already pretty easy peasy. Feel free to add to it: dried fruit would be nice, as would preserved lemons.


  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 12)
  • 1/2 pound pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted


  1. In a large, gallon-sized Ziplock bag, combine the vinegar, Dijon, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and rosemary.
  2. Add the chicken and olives to the bag, seal tightly, and swish the chicken around until coated in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Transfer the chicken and as much of the marinade as you can squeeze out of the bag into a 9 x 13 making dish. Arrange the chicken in an even layer. Pour the white wine into the pan and sprinkle the top of the chicken with the sugar. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, until the chicken is very tender and the top is golden brown.
  5. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds and serve alongside quinoa, rice, or some crusty bread.

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!



Comment22 Share This!

22 Responses to On the Job: Mediterranean Baked Chicken with Kalamata Olives

  1. Yes, yes, and YES. This looks absolutely fabulous!

  2. I love the sweet and salty combo at play in this dish! So easy and flavorful, I mus try this!

  3. Frankie says:

    No wonder it’s popular – sugar!

  4. Pingback: Bottoms Up: Minty Moscow Mules | Feed Me Phoebe

  5. HillyHo says:

    I made this tonight with my best friend. It was delicious!!!!!!

  6. Keith says:

    I made this tonight for a date and daaaaaamn did it do me good! 😉

  7. Kathy says:

    This sounds amazing but my husband is one of those fish eating vegetarians– any suggestions on an adaptation?

    • hmm – you could try monkfish? but don’t marinate over night and just bake all together for 20minutes or so. I also have a great recipe for tofu marbella in the archives!

  8. Pingback: It’s Fall: time for some baked drumsticks! | 紅酒多拿滋

  9. Erica J says:

    Hi! Just found you on Pinterest. LOVE your recipes! Could i omit the sugar from this recipe? replace it with honey? thoughts?

  10. Julia says:

    90 minutes at 375 seems like a long cooking time for boneless chicken. Wouldn’t it be fully cooked in about half that amount of time? What is the reason for the extra-long cooking time? Thanks!

  11. Christine says:

    This recipe is amazing. I’ve tried with both boneless chicken breasts and thighs, and definitely much better with the thighs, but amazing either way. It fills the entire home with an aroma to die for! My go-to!

  12. Hilly Ho says:

    Making this again tonight with my “friend”… We’re about to binge watch House of Cards. One of our favorite meals 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *