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Chicken with Olive Dressing

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
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Why we love it:

Recently I’m obsessed with the green pitted olives from a can. The brand is Lindsay Naturals, “ripe pitted green olives.” They taste reminiscent of the brighter green Castelvetrano but they’re easier to find already pitted, and much less expensive. This is what I used for recipe testing but any pitted olive will do here (even kalamata or black olives will work!)


  • 1 cup Farro
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (more or less, divided)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 pounds Chicken Thighs (bone-in, skin on)
  • 6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 12 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 112 cups Green Olives, Pitted (about 1 15-ounce can)
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
  • 4 ounces Feta Cheese
  • 4 cups Arugula (baby)

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. FARRO

    Place the farro and water in a pot with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then stir well and reduce to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook for about 25 - 30 minutes or until the farro is pale in color and tender. If there’s no water left but it’s not done cooking, you can add more, just turn up the heat to make sure it boils quickly. Unlike rice, this won’t affect the cooking.

  • 3. CHICKEN

    Mince the garlic. Place chicken on an unlined, rimmed baking sheet and toss with about 2 Tablespoons olive oil (more or less is ok here), the minced garlic, and season with a generous teaspoon of salt and all of the pepper. Make sure chicken is skin-side up, then pour vinegar over and around chicken and place in the oven.

    Bake chicken for about 25 - 30 minutes, without flipping, until it’s cooked through and nicely browned all over.


    Meanwhile, drain the olives and either tear in ½ with your fingers or coarsely chop with a knife. In a small bowl combine chopped olives with another 2 (ish) Tablespoons olive oil and 2 Tablespoons water.

    Zest and juice the lemon into the bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside.

    Crumble feta and keep it separate.

  • 5. TOSSING

    When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl or platter, leaving behind the juices and bits stuck to the pan. Pour the olive mixture onto the sheet and use a wooden spoon or whisk to gently scrape up all the bits the chicken left behind. This will create a nice sauce-like consistency. Pour olive mixture over the chicken.


    When the farro is done, drain off any excess water. Toss in a pinch of salt (to taste, perhaps none is needed) and the remaining olive oil.

  • 7. SERVING

    Plate a mound of farro and top with arugula. Place chicken on top of this and spoon lots of the sauce and juices over - this seasons the arugula and farro, too. Garnish with feta crumbles.

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    sub farro for rice or quinoa
    omit feta
    so many options here. Cauliflower, yams, corn, green beans, potatoes, butternut squash. Not sure if I can think of something that wouldn’t work as long as you can cut it in cubes
    drumsticks would be good. You could even do a half chicken in this method (ask the butcher to split a whole chicken for you) or an airline breast (chicken breast with bone and skin). If you try to use boneless skinless, it will look “poached” and will cook much more quickly so the sauce won’t be quite as rich. You can do it though
  • FARRO:
    rice, lentils, quinoa
  • BEANS:
    adding a can of drained white beans or garbanzo beans to the roast would be a win
    this would be incredible with salmon, halibut or shrimp added. Either pan roast with the vinegar or sear it separately. OR, grill the fish for a smokey addition. It would also be a great sauce for a broiled hangar steak using the same method but broil the steak for the time it needs, likely only 6-10 minutes total

Kid Friendly Version

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • kids often love whole olives for their fingers and may not prefer the mixed sauciness so keep their chicken and olives separate. If needed, add a vegetable you know they love

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

Make the farro ahead

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