Seared Garlic Chicken with Lemon and Olives

I seem to have developed a stress fracture in my lower right leg, just above the ankle.

(Completely self-diagnosed mind you. Having broken 6 bones in my day, I consider myself a small, albeit entirely unqualified, expert in the field).

Anyway, it’s a bit embarrassing because it’s not like I was doing a drop step into a turnaround jump shot when it happened.  Nope.  As I recall, I was somewhere above Grimaldi’s at the mid-way point across the Brooklyn Bridge in the midst of our family’s 6 day whirlwind tour of New York City when it started hurting like a bugger.  And I mean a bugger.

But here’s the thing.  We walked an average of 10 km (6.2 miles) a day for five consecutive days, so I’m thinking, I’ve just completed a marathon, right?  Sure there wasn’t much running involved (unless you count diving out of the way of oncoming traffic) – and there may have been a few stops along the way.  Still, I was booking a pretty good pace trying to keep up with my supremely keen and overly fit sons and somehow, I also ended up being the designated backpack carrier for most of our travels (not sure how that happened).

A small price to pay I’d say for the fun we had travelling to the top of the Empire State Building, walking the sun-drenched shores of Battery Park (with its stunning views of the Statue of Liberty); spending a day at the Bronx Zoo (loved the Gorillas!); visiting Fire Department Ten House across from the World Trade Center site and the 9/11 Memorial (a personal favourite); exploring Central Park; crossing the Brooklyn Bridge (you already knew that); visiting Yankee Stadium (what an impressive building); and frolicking amidst the madness of Time Square (I felt completely at home).  No rest for the wicked I’ll tell you – our sons had us out till the wee hours.

We had a blast and I want to thank my blogging buddies who shared so many great ideas, tips and recommendations for our stay – including our hotel (thank you Amy!).

My son took this photo in Central Park (oops! I mean at the Bronx Zoo)
the tigers were unusually spunky and fun to watch
I just love how the light is hitting the water


So, as I dash around trying to get back on track with work, groceries and laundry and prepare to dash back out the door for a soccer tourney in Vermont, I thought this one-pot wonder might be just the right thing.

Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you though, this is one succulent and flavourful dish.  I hope you enjoy it.

Seared Garlic Chicken with Lemon and Olives
  • 2 garlic bulbs, peeled
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and each cut into eighths
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 chicken breasts, each cut into three pieces
  • 1 – 2 cups large olives of choice (I used garlic stuffed jumbo green)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • Sea salt and coarse black pepper to taste


I like to use a cast iron skillet for searing but you can make this recipe in any suitably sized pan.

You can also substitute half of the chicken stock for white wine to create a slightly different taste experience.


Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken pieces and brown each side for about 2 minutes per side.  Just enough to get a nice sear on the chicken pieces without fully cooking.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside on a plate loosely tented with foil.

Add another tablespoon of butter to the same skillet and sauté garlic cloves and onion over low-medium heat, scraping up bits from seared chicken.  Cook until the garlic has a nice sear and onion is softened.
Return chicken to skillet and add olives, lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste.  Allow juices to come to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through.


By the way, garlic and onion not only taste great, they are also great for you.

As part of the allium family of vegetables that also includes leeks, chives, scallions and shallots, onion and garlic are high in disease-fighting phytochemicals. Studies have shown that a high intake of allium vegetables can help reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. A high intake of allium vegetables has also been linked with a lower risk of colon and prostate cancer.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone


  1. says

    Yay, so glad your new york visit was a good time (and that the hotel rec worked out)! Sounds like you packed in a lot. I totally understand the stress fracture…Nate and I walk around 6-10 miles on weekends and you can definitely feel it. I hope it’s just some sore muscles tho!

    This chicken sounds delicious. I love anything with lots of garlic and lemon!

  2. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says

    Oh no – you poor dear – hope your leg heals soon! I agree, it is a great shot taken by your son – clearly a natural photographer.
    Scrumptious meal too.
    :-) Mandy

  3. Lbergeron says

    Hi Kelly! Recipe looks great, always looking for new ideas for chicken. But never mind that, NYC sounded amazing! Glad to hear you all had a great time… maybe lost a few pounds too with all that walking!

  4. says

    –Ahhh, I remember that Gorilla!
    sounds like you’re having a blast. Love the environment that gorgous tiger is in! Did you say Central Park?!
    Lots of walking, huh? I tried heels the first day and said, NO WAY!
    Have a wonderful time w/ your family, Kelly. Xxxx

  5. Judy Purcell says

    Two bulbs of garlic and garlic stuffed olives … oh yeah, that’s a chicken’s best friend! Sounds great!

  6. says

    What a coincidence, Kelly, we’re leaving for the big apple tomorrow morning! I love doing that walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I must remember to take a lock this time!
    I can always use another chicken recipe and I adore the flavours you’ve used in this one.

  7. says

    Oh no, so sorry about your leg…hope it heals quickly! Love the shot your son took…so funny “Central Park” :) Looks like a wonderful vacation…and fantastic dish here as well!
    Hugs, and hope you are doing well!

  8. says

    I’m so glad you had a great time Kelly! It sounds fabulous (well except for the stress fracture!). And this meal is simply perfect. I love lemon and chicken. It brings the dish to life. Have a great trip in VT. We’ll catch up soon. Hugs!

  9. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says

    I am so sorry to hear that… i feel your pain. my acl tear has got me down right now. cheers to being well soon!

  10. says

    I can totally beat you on the embarrassment scale – I once broke my thumb roller skating. Like 3 years ago… my daughter asked if I could go fast, and I got all full of myself and said yes. Oh I got going fast all right, then took a nose dive into the floor, and completely busted my thumb trying to catch myself. I won’t even tell you how many bruises I had on my posterior! The shame… take it easy, and I hope it feels better quickly!!

  11. says

    I’m sorry about your leg. Hope it heals very soon! What can I say about this dish? WOW! YUM! Delicious! All that garlic, lemons AND olives! You’re killing me! Definitely will be making this one soon!

  12. Anna G. says

    The dish is as powerful as the tiger walking in the photo…
    I hope your leg heals quick and well. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Junia Kim says

    congrats on writing your own mini articles! :) great resources! and i recently made a chicken dish for some friends – this looks simple and fabulous!

  14. says

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. By the way, love the picture of the tiger. I love cats and have this fantastic picture of a bengal tiger on my ipad desktop from national geographic that is breathtaking. Hope you have a happy holiday weekend!

  15. Sallybr2008 says

    OUCH! A stress fracture is no joke! I hope you can rest it, I know these things take a long time to heal, but the more you rest, the shorter the recovery. Good luck!

    The recipe is too awesome for words, lemon and olives… I need nothing else. Ok, give me the chicken too ;-)

    great to know you all enjoyed your trip!

  16. says

    ouch! so sorry about your fracture! I broke my baby toe in March and it’s just in the last week feeling better. It really put a wrench in my walking regime! Your chicken looks just amazing – I love (and need) simple dishes like this lovely chicken – thanks!

  17. says

    Oh Kelly, hope you get better soon. So hard when the Mom gets injured. Sounds like this easy dish is just what you need. Wish I lived closer, so I could help you out.

  18. says

    It looks gorgeous! The colours, the taste and the aroma… I can very well imagine them (I’m very hungry, just before my dinner so I can even smell the fried onions from your photo).
    I’m sorry for your accident. I hope you will feel better soon. Luckily apparently your holiday was perfect. Whenever I travel visiting cities I walk for hours and hours, so I’m always afraid something will happen to my legs or feet…

  19. Karen (Back Road Journal) says

    Your chicken dish sounds terrific. The flavor must be great with the olives, lemons and garlic. My kind of a dish.

  20. says

    Damn, did you tell us earlier that you’d been going to NY? Did I completely miss that? :o

    Sounds like you had a great time – reminds me of the first time I ever visited London and Paris with my parents… damn did we do a lot walking those days!

    Hope your leg turns out ok – what can you do to fix it? Rest up? Doesn’t sound like you’ll get much of a chance to do that… :(

  21. says

    Sorry about your leg, but it seems you’ve had a fun trip. When we go back to the States, my husband and I would love to take the kids to NY. I love this meal, healthy and flavorful!

  22. says

    I hope you feel better soon. Sounds like a good trip all things considered. This looks wonderful. I rarely cook with olives, though I love them.

  23. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says

    That is a lot of walking! Hope your leg feels better soon! This chicken looks delicious! Perfect light meal and I love it’s made in one pot!

  24. inspirededibles says

    Thanks Amy – all is groovy and yes, NYC was amazing!! We had a blast. Our only regret was that it simply flew by… such is life ;-).

  25. inspirededibles says

    Thanks Mandy; I just loved the shot too and all the beauty surrounding it. Have a beautiful day.

  26. inspirededibles says

    Haha, way to go sister, keep your eyes on the weight prize! :) NYC was a blast – missing it already!

  27. inspirededibles says

    I like the environment too… too often, the environmets are depressing (like the polar bear without a drop of snow around him… that’s just not right… poor guy lookes so depressed and heat exhausted ;-0). I can’t even wear heels to a party, much less real walking – lol – :)

  28. inspirededibles says

    Thanks Reem – I hope you’re enjoying some beautiful summer-like weather these days. I’m loving it! :)

  29. inspirededibles says

    You’re quite right, it does have a Mediterranean flare… love the combo of olives and lemon… could eat it every day I think! :)

  30. inspirededibles says

    Heehee, Central Park. It was a woderful vacation – active and full of adventure! Thanks Magic.

  31. inspirededibles says

    The good news is it doesn’t seem to have lasted very long… rest is a good thing :) Thanks Laura.

  32. inspirededibles says

    Yeah, the last time I got all confident with my sons, I was doing backflips off the monkey bars and ended up with a broken arm!! haha. Have a great day Jen :)

  33. inspirededibles says

    I know, I know… I thought you would enjoy the ingredient play here MJ :) Have a beautiful day.

  34. inspirededibles says

    Do you know what’s funny, as I look over my recipe index, I think all of my chicken recipes – save one – calls for lemon! I seem to like the combination of lemon and chicken too! :)

  35. inspirededibles says

    Haha, sometimes I think I need nothing more than lemon and olives too! It’s one satisfying combination, isn’t it… thanks Sally, we had a super time in NYC!

  36. inspirededibles says

    Isn’t it amazing how a toe or finger can change everything and put us out of balance? The human body is so remarkable.. thank you so much for your kind comments on the dish. I like keeping things as simple as possible. Our lifestyle necessitates it ;-)

  37. inspirededibles says

    You’re too sweet Jeanette… sometimes I wish I lived closer to you and all of your delicious, wholesome cooking too! :)

  38. inspirededibles says

    It was a great trip and we are still reminiscing about it… the leg is just fine, thanks Charles… Rest? What’s that? haha….!

  39. inspirededibles says

    I bet you’ll have a great time when you go Alyssa. We wanted to wait until our boys were old enough to appreciate the dynamism of the city… they lead the charge! :)

  40. inspirededibles says

    Hi Jenny, thanks so much for dropping by. I’m glad the recipe appeals to you. Have a great day :)

  41. inspirededibles says

    Yes, feel free to touch base any time on NYC and I can share our resources with you. The leg is recovering nicely and I’m thoroughly enjoying this warm, sunny weather. Hugs to you France – xo.

  42. inspirededibles says

    I know what you mean… we eat olives on their own by the gallon full in my family (that’s not really an exaggeration) but integrating them into recipes is less common. I really like them here with the lemon…mmm, mmm, good…!

  43. inspirededibles says

    Walking is a good thing :) I’m always thrilled about the one-pot thing too. Simplicity at its best. Thanks Stephanie – have a great day!

  44. inspirededibles says

    Thanks so much Sissi… it’s such a simple yet tasty dish. A perfect weeknight option. I know what you mean about the hunger factor… sometimes I’ll be cruising around food blogs and wishing desperately that I could reach inside! :)

  45. inspirededibles says

    Thanks so much CJ – cats have a magical charm all of their own, don’t they. I hope you’re having a great day.

  46. Sweetcarolinescooking says

    Oh no! So sorry to hear about your leg! :( I hope you feel better soon. BUT so glad you had a nice trip. This chicken dish is gorgeous, and sounds diiiivine. :)

  47. says

    What a beautiful dish Kelly! Anything made in a cast iron pan speaks of comfort to me! And it’s often the simple dishes that are the best. It sounds like you had a wonderful time in New York! You certainly did walk a marathon! And I hope your leg is on the mend soon! : )

  48. Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} says

    I hope your ankle feels better! I love one pot wonders, it makes life so much easier when you can save time!

  49. says

    Kelly, I made this recipe last night, with a few minor alterations. EXCEPTIONAL! Our guest couldn’t stop eating it (I knew I should have set aside two portions for our lunch the next day, I barely got one out of it!). Thanks again!

  50. inspirededibles says

    Thank you so much for letting me know Eva! I’m thrilled that you tried it and enjoyed it so much… (I have trouble stopping too! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *