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Chicken with Carrots and Olives

Middle Eastern cooks often stew chicken slowly in clay pots. Grace Parisi's intensely flavorful recipe here borrows ingredients common in Tunisian tagines (cumin, cinnamon, lemon, garlic and olives) for a fast, fragrant saute.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, seeded and very thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline
  • 3 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips, or skinless, boneless breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3/4 cup mixed, herb-marinated pitted olives (3 ounces)
  • Chopped roasted almonds and couscous, for serving


  1. In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet in a single layer. Cook over high heat, turning once, until browned but not cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate, leaving as much of the oil in the skillet as possible.
  2. Add the lemon slices to the skillet in a single layer. Cook, turning once, until the slices are browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the carrots and garlic and cook them over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the water and cook until the carrots are crisp-tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin, paprika and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and olives, season with salt and pepper and simmer over moderate heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the almonds. Serve with couscous.

Suggested Pairing

Berry-rich rosé.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published May 2007

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