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Roasted Chicken with Spicy Herbed Olivada

When your mind, body and soul crave the cozy comfort and the familiar smell of a chicken roasting in the oven, this dish could hit the spot, particularly if you’re a big fan of olives. This one of our family favorites. Super moist and flavorful, I surround the whole chicken with halved potatoes, chunked carrots and quartered onions which have been seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed with olive oil. Bake chicken and vegetables together in a deep casserole. Garnish with rosemary and enjoy!


  1. 1 1/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives (about 8 ounces)

  2. 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

  3. 2-4 garlic cloves

  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  7. 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  8. 1 7-pound roasting chicken

  9. Carrots, potatoes, onions, optional

  10. 1/3 cup dry white wine, optional

  11. 2/3 cup (about) low-salt chicken broth, optional


  1. Preheat to 425°F.

  2. Combine olives, rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper in processor. Blend until olives and garlic are chopped finely. With machine running, add 4 tablespoons oil through feed tube and blend until coarse paste forms. (Olivada can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.)

  3. Starting at the neck end of the chicken, carefully slide a hand under the skin, loosening skin over breast, thighs, and top of drumsticks. Spread olive paste as evenly as possible over meat under loosened skin. Rub outside of the chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

  4. Tuck the wings under the chicken and tie legs together.

  5. Place chicken on a rack set in roasting pan (or surround with vegetables in a casserole) and roast all until the skin is golden brown and thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180°F, about 1 hour 20 minutes.

  6. Optional: Pour pan juices into 2-cup glass measuring cup; spoon off the fat that rises to the top. Add wine and enough broth to juices to measure 1 1/3 cups. Pour liquid back into same roasting pan. Set the pan over 2 burners and boil until sauce thickens and reduces to 3/4 cup, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper; pour into gravy boat. Serve chicken with sauce.

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