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Braised Chicken with Olives and Capers


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 whole cut-up chicken, or about 3 pounds parts, bone-in, skin on

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juice)

  • ½ cup dry white wine or chicken stock

  • 1 cup Niçoise or kalamata olives, pitted

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish



  1. Put the oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  2. When it’s hot, add the chicken, skin side down.

  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook undisturbed, adjusting the heat so the chicken doesn’t burn, until the pieces are browned on the bottom and release easily from the skillet, 5 to 10 minutes.

  4. Continue cooking, turning the chicken every few minutes, until it’s brown all over, 5 to 10 minutes more.

  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.

  6. Add the onions and capers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

  7. Add the garlic and tomatoes; cook until the mixture starts to bubble and the tomatoes thicken slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

  8. Stir in the wine and let the mixture bubble for another 2 minutes.

  9. Add the olives and thyme, and return the chicken to the skillet, nestling the pieces into the sauce.

  10. Adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles gently but steadily, then cover the skillet.

  11. Cook, turning the chicken every 10 minutes or so and adding a splash of stock or water if the sauce looks too dry, until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 155 to 165).

  12. Taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning.

  13. Garnish with the parsley, and serve.





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