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Roast Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Green Olives

February 9, 2012

Diane Rossen Worthington has a remarkable talent for getting big flavor from very simple combinations. Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks is a fantastic cookbook, and Roast Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Green Olives is one of my favorite recipes in it.

For each recipe in the book, Diane offers ideas for different ingredients that the “creative cook” might use to change the recipe. Or she suggests a way to make a dish ahead, or a way to serve it as an appetizer.

For Roast Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Green Olives, she called for “mixed fresh herbs”, suggesting rosemary, parsley, thyme, basil, and/or oregano. I chose to make mine just with rosemary.

Diane uses a cut-up 3½ pound chicken for 4 servings; I used 1¾ pounds of chicken thighs for 2 servings. Served over a bit of steamed rice to soak up the great juices, it made a quick weeknight main course. All that was needed was a salad to complete the meal.




Roast Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Green Olives

(Adapted from Diane Rossen Worthington’s recipe in Seriously Simple)


(print the recipe)


Serves 2 (double the ingredients for 4 servings)


1½ teaspoons lemon zest (A Microplane zester works great for this.)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus 1 more tablespoon for garnish

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 chicken thighs (about 1¾ pounds)

12 garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup chicken broth

1/3 cup pitted green olives, rinsed


1. Preheat the oven to 425˚.

2. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, 2 tablespoons rosemary, and a dash of salt and pepper in a small bowl.


3. Put the chicken in an oven-proof skillet. (I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet.) Pour the lemon/herb mixture over the chicken.


4. Add the garlic cloves to the pan.


5. Roast for about 40 minutes, until the chicken is done.



6. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and cook on the stovetop over medium heat for a couple of minutes, scraping up the tasty cooked bits from the bottom of the pan.


7. Add the green olives and cook just a minute more.

8. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the extra tablespoon of chopped rosemary.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2012 7:51 pm

    I bet this was super good with just the rosemary. And, I bet it smelled fabulous while it was roasting.

  2. February 9, 2012 9:27 pm

    Great simple roast chicken recipe. I like the olive touch! Lemon with herbs always a winner with chicken at home and of course with rice… Mmmm
    Thank you !
    Cookng Sisters

    • February 10, 2012 4:26 pm

      I actually doubled the olives, Lisa. Diane called for 1/3 cup for 3 1/2 pounds of chicken; I used 1/3 cup with my 1 3/4 pounds of thighs. 🙂

  3. February 10, 2012 6:43 am

    Wow this chicken looks absolutely amazing!! What a great recipe! 🙂

  4. February 10, 2012 10:22 am

    Oh wow this looks delicious!! I bet that sauce is something else, yummy!

  5. February 10, 2012 2:31 pm

    This does look very good . . . I’ve come to really love chicken thighs. They’re just richer. (And, of course I like your pick of rosemary!)

  6. Laura permalink
    February 10, 2012 3:04 pm

    That looks. SO GOOD.

    • February 10, 2012 4:28 pm

      I think you would really like it, Laura! It’s easy, and one-pot with the cast iron skillet.

  7. February 10, 2012 4:09 pm

    Mmmmm, yummy. Now I know what to do with chicken thighs for dinner tonight. Seriously Simple is such a good springboard for playing with recipes… who said we can’t play with our food?!

    • February 10, 2012 4:29 pm

      I really do like Seriously Simple, and playing with my food. Thanks for your comment, Dee!

  8. February 13, 2012 8:04 am

    Hello! I found you on The Bitten Word (I have the honor of having the junk drawer picture right below yours) and I just wanted to say this recipe looks fabulous and so right up my alley. Love chicken thighs, love olives…winner!

  9. February 13, 2012 1:54 pm

    Somehow these photos filled my whole house with the most fragrant deliciousness. GREG

  10. February 13, 2012 5:15 pm

    What a delicious dish, Kath! It looks so hearty and flavorful. Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad to have found your blog and look forward to seeing more!

  11. February 13, 2012 10:17 pm

    This Looks very good!

  12. Diane Worthington permalink
    February 25, 2012 3:12 pm

    HI Kath, thanks for trying my recipe… When I developed this I never knew it would become a weekly addition to our family dinner table! Everyone seems to love it. Happy Cooking and I love your site. Diane

    • February 27, 2012 2:37 pm

      I am so honored to have received your comment, Diane! Thank you so much! I love your style of cooking and your cookbooks.


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