Magical Foodlore Moments: Braised Chicken Thighs with Leeks and Olives

Chicken with Leeks and Green Olives!  You will be shocked at how easy this is to make and how amazing it tastes!  The great thing about this recipe is that you can prep it in about 30 minutes and then pop it in the oven to cook while you do other things.  Don’t forget to make sure you have all the ingredients.


Two Important tips about this recipe (and cooking in general):  First leeks!  Besides being incredibly healthy for you and filled with lots of important nutrients, many people consider leeks to be more savory than onions and we agree!  They have a more delicate flavor than onions and they add a subtle sweetness to this dish.  One thing to remember about leeks is that they need to be soaked in water for several minutes to eliminate any sand or dirt.  Click out our recipe for more details.
braisedchickenwitholivesSearing Meats Needs Patience!  Patience is important for a cook.  To properly sear or brown meats, you leave them alone in the pan.  You don’t move them around, you don’t keep checking on them.  You let them brown according to the time recommended for each cut of meat or poultry.  This gives the meat a slight crispness on the outside while keeping the meat juicy and moist on the inside.

For me, not peeking at the meat while it was browning, was hard to do.  I had this uncontrollable urge to keep looking to make sure the meat was searing when in fact I was interrupting the searing process.  So don’t peek; be patient.  Set your stove temperature as directed, follow the time recommendations, and let your meet brown.  If being patient is not your strong suit, set your timer and step away from the stove and keep yourself busy by setting the table, or chopping ingredients – the result will be well worth it!

Every time we serve this dish, our family and friends rave about the flavors and about how moist the chicken is – even the people who don’t typically eat chicken thighs.   They love this recipe! 

Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives and Leeks
Crispy on the outside and soft and tangy on the inside, these chicken thighs smothered in a bed of leeks and green olives will melt in your mouth. This is a meal you can whip up in 30 minutes and put in the oven to bake while you set the table and dress the salad. Serve with salad and rice or potatoes. We use chicken thighs with skin on but you can use boneless/skinless thighs or chicken breasts as well.
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 30minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 30minutes
Cook Time
  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighsskin on
  • 1 Leeklarge, sliced in ¼ inch slices
  • 2tbsp Fresh Thymeor 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 20 Green Oliveslarge with pimentos, slided into 1/8 inch slices
  • 1cup dry white wine
  • 1/2tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4tsp Coarse black pepper
  • 2tbsp chopped parsleyfor garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare chicken by patting dry with a paper towel; lightly salt and pepper both sides. In a medium sized oven proof frying pan, add the olive oil and bring to a medium high heat. Add chicken thighs, skin side down, to the prepared pan and sear on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is golden brown. Turn chicken and sear on the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove chicken to a platter and set aside. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Cut the white portion of the leek into 1/8 inch slices and place in a bowl of water to soak for 10 minutes. Make sure the leeks are completely covered in water. Drain leeks and rinse again, if needed, to ensure any sand is removed. Return pan to medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for 6-8 minutes until translucent and soft, but not brown. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, breaking the leeks apart from their circle shape. When leeks are soft and just turning golden, add thyme, olives, salt and pepper. Gently mix until combined.
  4. Return chicken to the pan, skin side up, placing on top of the other ingredients and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat. Transfer pan to oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until skin is brown. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Recipe Notes



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