Chicken in a rich herb, olive and vegetable sauce

Rating: 4.1/5. From 14 votes.
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Chicken in a rich herb, olive and vegetable sauce

The hint of orange rind and the tang of the olives make this chicken dish very special.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6


  • 1 medium chicken, cut into small pieces (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • A handful of sage (10 leaves)
  • Half a bottle of decent red wine
  • Olive oil
  • A bay leaf
  • Dried sage and rosemary (a good pinch)
  • A handful of black olives
  • Juice of half an orange and a little orange zest


  1. At least 1 hour before you make the dish (even 24 hours before), marinade the pieces of chicken in the red wine with a good pinch of dried rosemary and sage and some salt (Italian stores sell this as “salamoia”. Use this if you can get it)
  2. Prepare a vegetable stock by boiling a litre (2 pints) of water with a stick of celery, a carrot and an onion (either whole or in large pieces) and a good bouillon cube for at least an hour.
  3. Take the remaining celery, carrots and onion, and with the sage and parsley, chop into coarse pieces with a mezzaluna or knife.
  4. Drain the chicken (trying to get as much liquid off it). Reserve the wine.
  5. Heat some oil (be generous) in a pan and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Careful that you don’t get burned by the hot oil spitting!
  6. Add the vegetables to the chicken, and cook for a few minutes on a high heat, mixing well.
  7. Squash the garlic (leave whole) and add this to the frying vegetable mixture. Cook until the vegetables are soft 10-15 minutes).
  8. Add 2 or 3 ladlefuls of stock, partially cover the pan and begin to cook on a low flame.
  9. When the liquid has almost evaporated, add a ladleful of the wine from the marinade.
  10. Continue the slow cooking, alternating the stock and the wine, for another 30-40 minutes or so (the times depend on the type of chicken and size of the pieces).
  11. When the chicken is almost cooked (test it with a knife – it should be soft but not falling off the bone), add the bay leaf, olives, the orange zest (don’t overdo it, a few inches of peel should do) and the orange juice.
  12. Continue cooking (alternating stock and wine) until the chicken is completely cooked and tender (it should come off the bone very easily).
  13. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

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