chicken with tomatoes and olives

Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes for One

The source of this recipe for chicken with olives and tomatoes will probably surprise you. It’s a North African recipe from a Jewish cookbook.  You probably think of lox and bagels and matzo balls when you think of Jewish cuisine, but it’s really far more varied than that. This is just one example.  My recipe for Moroccan chicken and lentil soup was adapted from the same cookbook.

This recipe looks a bit complicated, but it really isn’t.  The flavors of the chicken, olives, garlic, and a bit of ginger make it rich and delicious (with a hint of spiciness).  It’s not a super quick meal though, so save it for when you have more time (or on a weekend).

Castelvetrano olives, by the way, are far different from the sad specimens you get in a can. They’re firm, bright green, sweet, and buttery, almost like a fruit.  I thought I hated olives, until I happened to try these (they were an amuse bouche at a restaurant).  The restaurant is now gone, but the olives are still here!  If you can’t find those, try cerignola olives. They are large, salty/sweet, bright green, and great for snacking or cooking.

Tools and Ingredients for Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes

Zaran Saffron

Soak a tiny pinch of this in hot water before you use it. Saffron adds a flavor that’s hard to describe, as well as beautiful reddish-yellow color. Use it for Moroccan dishes (like this one), or for Indian food.


Jeff’s Naturals Whole Castelvetrano Olives

Use the olives for this chicken dish, or the pasta recipe below.  They’re also great with an antipasto platter. Or, add some olive oil, garlic, and rosemary, and marinate them. Don’t get the pitted ones; it seems easier, but they lose flavor. Serve that with a cheese platter.


The Book of Jewish Food

This is part cookbook and part travel diary. The author includes brief histories of the communities that created the dishes, and how they adapted local cuisine to suit religious restrictions.

There’s recipes for the expected kugel, split pea soup, and chopped liver. But then it goes off to Spain, Baghdad, and India. From there you get leek meatballs, eggplant fritters, chicken with rice croquettes, borekas, lamb with raisins and almonds, and pumpkin kofta curry.

More Recipes with Olives or Chicken

penne with feta cheese and sundried tomatoesPenne with Feta Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Olives

Easy and pantry-friendly too. Sun-drying intensifies and sweetens the tomatoes, which make a delicious contrast to the salty olives and cheese.


spaghetti with green olives and lemon pankoSpaghetti with Green Olives and Lemon Panko

A delight in a bowl, with crispy golden-brown lemon panko, dill, and a burst of citrus. It’s light, it’s green, and it’s an ideal wake-me-up for your taste buds.


chili citrus chickenChili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Turn an ordinary piece of chicken into something special with a quick chili citrusy marinade tempered with honey.  Then let it sit, and bake.


feta brined roast chickenFeta Brined Roast Chicken Recipe for One

You’ve heard of brining turkeys? This is a twist on that old favorite. Here, the brining is not with salt, but with feta cheese. The brine keeps the chicken moist and flavorful, and the whole thing only requires a few simple ingredients.

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