When you cook as often as I do, you sometimes find yourself falling back on the same formulas. Maybe now that we are on week 7 of quarantine, you all are starting to feel me? When I’m wanting to be extra lazy without losing the wow factor, I reach for this baked chicken with Kalamata olives, which has been a favorite since my early small kitchen days.
The version in my first cookbook 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 domestic genius 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.
A few years ago I catered an Easter lunch and 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.
For this Kalamata olive chicken, I’ve simplified the marinade even further. You can add any herb you have on hand, even dried.
I assume none of us are having a dinner party anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment on your loved one for a special weekend date night chicken. You will be shocked by where you net out on the deliciousness to easiness ratio.
Since my loved one no longer eats chicken, I shared this Kalamata chicken with my mother who was more than happy to take half the pan off my hands.
With health and hedonism,
Mediterranean Baked Chicken with Kalamata Olives
In a large, gallon-sized Ziplock bag, combine the vinegar, Dijon, olive oil, garlic, salt, and rosemary.
Add the chicken and olives to the bag, seal tightly, and swish the chicken around until coated in the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Transfer the chicken and as much of the marinade as you can squeeze out of the bag into a 9 x 13 making dish or oven-proof skillet. Arrange the chicken in an even layer. Pour the white wine into the pan and season the chicken lightly with salt. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, until the chicken is very tender and the top is golden brown.
Serve alongside quinoa, rice, or some crusty bread.