Chicken and Olive Sauce

Chicken and Olive Sauce

   Olives are used extensively in Southern Italian pasta sauces, and they add robust flavor to this sauce made with healthful chicken and many fresh herbs.

ServingsSERVES: 6-8Preparation timePREP: 15 min.Cooking timeCOOK: 3 slow cooker.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup Chicken Stock or purchased stock
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes, or until chicken is opaque. Transfer chicken to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.

2. Add stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, thyme, and rosemary to the slow cooker. Stir well.
3. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and tender. If cooking on Low, raise the heat to High. Add the olives, parsley, and lemon zest, and cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: The sauce can be prepared up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Variation: Substitute boneless pork loin for the chicken. The cooking time will remain the same.


The best way to shop for olives is at the olive bar or antipasto bar in your supermarket. You’ll find the greatest variety, and you can purchase just the amount you need.