This post for One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice has been sponsored by California Ripe Olives, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice is an easy, comforting, home-cooked meal made with juicy marinated chicken thighs, rice, California Green Ripe Olives, California Black Ripe Olives, artichoke hearts, lemon, and fresh herbs. Prepare this delicious one-pan family favorite to enjoy throughout the week, or enjoy with family and friends for a special weekend gathering.
One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice is an easy and comforting dish made entirely in one pan. Packed full of incredible lemon and herb flavors, this easy olive chicken and lemon rice is the perfect weeknight dinner, and just as easy for entertaining. Kids, spouses, and friends will be begging for seconds.
Inspired by my recent grove tour with California Ripe Olives and my ever-growing hate for dishes, this amazing recipe turned out even better than I could have imagined.
Before going into the details of what makes this One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice so crazy good, a quick note…
I divided the recipe into three parts– the chicken and marinade, the rice, and the olives with feta. I promise this does not mean extra work. The only reason I do this is to make your life easier (hopefully) when it comes time to make this amazing dinner for your family.
Ingredients in this Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice
- chicken thighs
- olive oil
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- dried Italian seasoning
- California Green Ripe Olives
- California Black Ripe Olives
- artichoke hearts
- low sodium chicken broth
- feta cheese
- fresh parsley
- fresh oregano
Before you run away, note that many of these ingredients are super basic including dried herbs and canned goods. There is absolutely nothing crazy going on in this recipe.
There are several reasons why this dish tastes fantastic. The secret, however, to all one-pan chicken and rice meals is that everything gets cooked together. Juices, herbs, and all those other flavors mix and mingle resulting in one magical delicious flavor explosion.
How to make One Pan Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice
- Marinate the chicken. Ideally, we would all remember to marinate our chicken for at least 4-12 hours. This only happens for me maybe 2 percent of the time, so I’ll tell you guys what I tell myself- do your best. Fortunately, chicken thighs are super juicy, so even if your chicken only bathes in the marinade for 10 minutes, it will still taste awesome. The marinade is a simple mix of lemon juice, lemon zest (don’t skip the zest!), dried herbs, and olive oil.
- Sear the chicken. This step is actually super important. Grab your large pan or skillet, and heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot add the chicken skin-side down. This sears the chicken skin and makes it nice and crispy. You want this, trust me. Once the chicken has been seared on each side (we’re not fully cooking), remove from the skillet.
- Assess what’s left in the skillet. What am I talking about? After cooking the chicken you’ll be left with chicken grease and potentially, some leftover charred bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Although the grease leftover from the chicken is great for the next step, we do not want to cook the rice in the oven with stuff already stuck and burnt to the bottom of the skillet. My solution? Depending on the skillet you are using, scrape off the gunk with a metal spatula (I couldn’t do this with a cast iron skillet), use a splash of wine to boil off the stuck bits, use a wad of bunched up damp paper towel to wipe it off, or wash the pan. This is entirely up to you and a step that I could talk a whole lot more about but everyone has different cooking tools.
- Prepare the rice. Before adding the rice to the skillet, sauté the onion with garlic and herbs until soft and fragrant. Add the rice and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes before adding one can of sliced California Green Ripe Olives, artichokes, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Bring the rice to a low simmer and transfer the chicken thighs directly on top of the rice, skin-side-up. Remove from heat.
- Bake. Set oven to 350 degrees F and cover the chicken and rice with a lid, baking sheet, or piece of foil. Bake the chicken and rice for 30 minutes covered, plus an additional 10-15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and oregano.
What to serve with olive chicken and rice
Fantastic question since I actually made a little olive and feta herb salad to go right with this delicious meal. Made with California Black Ripe Olives, California Green Ripe Olives, cubes of tangy feta cheese, fresh minced parsley and oregano, and lemon juice, this salad (or whatever you would like to call it), taste and looks great piled directly on top of the cooked olive chicken and rice.
Can you use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?
To make this One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice with chicken breasts rather than chicken thighs, marinate the chicken and sear the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes on each side, just as you would if you would do if you were using chicken thighs. However, rather than cook the chicken with the rice for the entire baking time, add the chicken to the pan or skillet 15-20 minutes into cooking. This means that, rather than cooking for 45 minutes in the oven, the chicken would cook for approximately 25-30 minutes. Chicken breasts do not need to cook as long as bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
What is the best rice to use in this Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice?
Long grain white rice is the best rice to use in chicken and rice recipes. Basmati or Jasmine rice would be my second pick.
I do not recommend using short grain rice, medium grain rice, risotto, paella, or minute rice.
Brown rice will take longer to cook an is a rice I have not yet experimented with.
Fun facts about California Ripe Olives
While on my grove tour with California Ripe Olives I learned a lot of really fun and interesting facts about olives that I had no idea about previously. I love learning and sharing knowledge about the foods I am eating, so I thought I would share some of these fun facts with you guys.
- California produces over 95% of the olives produced in the US.
- There are two main varieties of trees that produce California Ripe Olives- Manzanillo and Sevillano. These different varieties produce different sizes of olives, giving consumers a choice ranging from small to super colossal. Trees can live for hundreds of years.
- Olives are grown on trees and are therefore a fruit.
- Olive trees are an alternate bearing fruit. What this means is that they produce a big crop one year and a smaller crop the next year.
- Harvest season generally starts in September and goes into November. California Ripe Olives are harvested when they are still green.
- The majority of California Ripe Olive harvesting is done by hand.
- All olives must be cured as they are much too bitter to eat right off the tree.
- The method of processing California Ripe Olives was invented in the late 1800s by Freda Ehmann. It is a multi-day process that starts by putting the olives into a lye curing solution to remove the bitterness. This is followed by a series of cold-water rinses, which remove every trace of the curing solution. Throughout the multi-day curing process, pure air is constantly bubbled through the olives. This air (oxidation) is what creates the natural, rich dark color of California Black Ripe Olives. California Green Ripe Olives go through a nearly identical curing process. However, their tanks are not injected with air, allowing them to retain their green color.
So, basically, black and green olives are basically the same thing.
I know, mind BLOWN.
If you try cooking this One Pot Olive Chicken and Lemon Rice, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
For more chicken recipes check out,
- Chicken and Butternut Squash
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Easy Sheet Pan Thai Chicken
- Chicken Gyro
- Cajun Chicken and Rice Bake
- Citrus Chicken Marinade Recipe
For more olive recipes check out,
- Skillet Chicken with Bacon, Caper and Olive Sauce
- Easy Lemon Olive Tapenade Crostini
- Cheesy Olive Tapenade Stuffed French Bread
- 15 Minute Angel Hair Pasta Recipe with Chicken
DON’T FORGET TO PIN AND SHARE THIS ONE POT OLIVE CHICKEN AND LEMON RICE TO MAKE FOR A FAST, EASY, AND COMFORTING DINNER THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL LOVE.
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One Pot olive Chicken with Lemon Rice
For the Chicken and Marinade
For the Rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups white rice, washed well
- 1 (6 ounce) can California Green Ripe Olives, drained and roughly chopped
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, (from approx. 2 lemons)
- Fresh chopped oregano, to garnish
- Fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
For the Olive and Feta Topping
- 1 (6 ounce) can California Green Ripe Olives, drained and halved
- 1 (6 ounce) can California Black Ripe Olives, drained and halved
- 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp fresh parsley, diced
For the Chicken and Marinade
- Combine the chicken and marinade ingredients to a large zip-lock bag. Mix well to coat the chicken in the lemon and herbs and set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes to overnight.
For the Rice
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, discarding the zip-lock bag and any leftover marinade. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes more.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a clean plate. The chicken will not be fully cooked, that's ok.
- Pour off excess fat and carefully scrape off any burnt bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet with a scrunched up, slightly damp, paper towel. If the burnt bits do not come off, clean the skillet (see note 2).
- Return the skillet to the stove. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, dried Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, and rice to the skillet and mix well to combine with the onion. Cook, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the green olives, artichoke hearts, low-sodium chicken broth, and lemon juice to the rice and stir to combine. Bring rice to a simmer and place the chicken on top.
- Remove from heat and cover the skillet with a lid, baking sheet, or piece of foil. Transfer to the oven to cook for 30 minutes covered, plus an additional 15 minutes uncovered, or until the rice has absorbed all liquid and chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and oregano and serve with herbed olives and feta (see below). Enjoy!
For the Olive and Feta Topping
- In a medium bowl combine the black olives, green olives, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh parsley.
- This recipe calls for an oven-safe skillet that is at least 12.5 inches.
- You may also de-glaze the pan with a splash of dry white wine.