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Chicken Thighs with Green Olives

Makes 4 servings The saffron in this recipe is subtle in flavor and color, so if you don't want to splurge, you can skip it entirely. For olives, Castelvetranos are plump and fruity, which works great in this dish, but there is no bad olive, so choose whatever variety you like best (even if they aren't green!).


  • 4 bone-in thighs
  • Salt, as needed
  • Ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 8 oz green olives, pitted and cracked
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Pita bread, for serving


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sear the chicken in the olive oil until well browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. In the pan drippings, cook the onions over moderate heat until very tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, and saffron. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Return the chicken pieces to the pot and add chicken stock to submerge by about 1 inch. Add the olives and adjust seasoning as needed. Simmer until the chicken is tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Once the chicken is tender, add the parsley and cilantro, and adjust seasoning with the lemon juice and salt.
  5. Serve with pita bread on the side.

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