Rosemary Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives

Rosemary Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives recipe
Photo: Marcus Nilsson
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
4 to 6 Serves

A soulful, satisfying main that's inexpensive, relies on basic pantry staples, and is relatively hands-off—now that's a winner. Our Italian-esque chicken supper combines juicy chicken legs with the bold flavors of canned tomatoes and briny olives and capers. The alchemy of acid, salt, and slow heat brings the poultry to fall-off-the-bone perfection, and the gravy is heaven on mashed potatoes or polenta.


  • 6 whole chicken legs (3 to 3 ½ pounds total), patted dry

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 to 3 cloves)

  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained, or rinsed if salt-packed

  • 1 teaspoon minced anchovies (from 2 to 3 fillets)

  • 3 rosemary sprigs (each 4 inches)

  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand or pulsed a few times in a blender until chunky

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water

  • ¾ cup pitted mixed olives

  • Mashed potatoes or creamy cooked polenta, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof straight-sided skillet or braiser over medium-high. Swirl in oil. Working in two batches if necessary, add chicken, skin-sides down, and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and brown other sides, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate; drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, capers, anchovies, rosemary, and red-pepper flakes to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth; bring to a simmer, scraping any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Continue to simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Season to taste. Return chicken to skillet, skin-sides up, along with any accumulated juices and olives.

  3. Transfer skillet to oven and braise, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through and liquid is reduced to a thick gravy, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and discard rosemary. Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta.

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