Andalusian Chicken with Green Olives and Bitter Oranges


The new spanish tableFlavored with the briny olives and bitter oranges that are so ubiquitous in Seville, this Moorish Andalusian recipe is refreshing and zesty, full of easy sophistication. To heighten the orange theme, I add orange segments to the sauce right before serving. Save some leftovers this chicken is wonderful at room temperature.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 4 medium-size chicken legs (about 2 ½ pounds total), separated into drumsticks and thighs, rinsed, patted dry, and trimmed of excess fat
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup medium-dry sherry
  • ¼ cup strained fresh bitter orange juice
  • ¼ cup strained fresh regular orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced orange zest
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ¾ cup pitted green olives, such as picholine or Nafplion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 medium-size tart juice oranges
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh mint
How to Make It
  1. Rub the chicken with salt and pepper and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy, shallow flameproof casserole or sauté pan that can hold the chicken in a single layer and heat over medium-high heat.Working in two batches, brown the chicken all over, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the browned chicken to a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the casserole and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is limp but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and stir for 30 seconds.Add the sherry, increase the heat to high, and cook until the sherry is slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the bitter and regular orange juices and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the casserole, cover it, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the orange zest, tomatoes, olives, and parsley to the casserole. Continue to cook the chicken over low heat, covered, turning it once or twice, until very tender, about 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, peel the oranges with a small, sharp knife, removing all the white pith. Working over a sieve set over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the orange sections. Carefully stir the orange sections into the stew and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl, spoon the pan juices and olives over it, sprinkle the mint on top, and serve.

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