Eric Guido's Olive Chicken

Eric Guido's Classic Olive Chicken


With the arrival of spring comes the desire for different tastes, lighter fare and less cooking time in the kitchen.  For me, it also arouses a desire for tastes of the Mediterranean, of southern Italy and the flavorful versatility of poultry.  Olive Chicken takes all of this into account and is an immensely pleasing dish on a number of levels.  From the chicken lover that wants to eat right off the bone to the fine dining party where superior flavor and presentation are a must, this dish will deliver the goods. Olive Chicken is a melding of flavors that truly speaks of the Mediterranean to me.  The chicken takes on the flavors of the garlic and bay leaf.  The olives soften and sweeten in the pan and mix perfectly with the toasted nutty flavors of the pine nuts.  Eat it with knife and fork or just eat it with your hands, but what you must make sure of is that you are ready to supply your guest with seconds – yes, it’s that good.

Meet Chef Eric Guido

After working in the New York City restaurant scene, Eric Guido branched out, organizing private dining and tasting events centered around Italian cuisine and wine. Here he began to incorporate food photography and recipe development.  His continuing work can be seen at Eric’s passion for food and wine is fueled by the togetherness and satisfaction found at the table.
Now what about sides?  A sauté of broccoli rabe and a quick polenta will do the trick by both contrasting and fortifying the flavors of the olive chicken and by creating a canvas of flavors and colors to wow the senses.  The best thing about these three items is that you can easily create this entire meal in three pans on your stovetop.  All you need is to take the time to prep your ingredients beforehand and to plan each dish around the cooking time of the other two.

When it came time to pick the wine, I decided to go with a bottle I’ve tasted and loved before – and now I’ve reassured myself that my affections were not misplaced.  There’s something about Sangiovese and olives that I love.  Maybe it’s the herbal earthiness and salinity from the olives that complete the perfect taste profile when mixed with the taut focused fruit and lively acidity of a good Sangiovese.  In the case of this wine, it’s also the deft use of just the right amount of oak, where the wine is given a lift of body and a velvety mouth feel that creates a perfect structure and balance.  I’m very happy to share this wine with you and strongly urge you to try it, and if you have the chance, it’s perfect with the Olive Chicken.

The 2006 Piaggia Carmignano Il Sasso shows a ruby red color in the glass with aromas of black cherry, lavender and herbs, lead pencil and just the right amount of toasty oak.  On the palate, I found juicy blackberry with a citrus twinge, followed by cedar on a well-structured frame with balanced acidity.  Citrus and sour cherry show on the medium long finish and mix perfectly with the juicy earthiness of the Olive Chicken.  It's palate cleansing and lends a wonderful contrast to the toasty flavors of the pine nuts and polenta.

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  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 5,000

    Again, a good, solid recipe, Eric, that combines the elements of feel-good food with something a level or two finer.

    I often make a recipe that's maybe half the same but has more olives (both black and green) and more garlic, and some jalapenos, as well. If I want to focus on the wine I include fewer jalapenos. If I want something hotter, I'll switch from wine to beer, and even cook the chicken in a beer broth. Most of the time I use a tajine, but sometimes just the old Le Creuset standby. It's a dish that seems rough around the edges on first impression but both tastes good as a leftover, and somehow gets repeat requests from all sorts of people. Good with polenta, couscous and rice, brown or white.

    When I drink wine with the milder version, I, too, first reach for a good sangiovese. Certain syrahs and Rhone blends also work well. Lots of salads can be good sides, too.

    May 28, 2010 at 8:02 PM

  • This is a fantastic recipe, Eric. It includes some of my favorite foods combined. My mouth is watering! I am trying it this weekend.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:32 PM

  • Snooth User: Sweet Sue
    489736 1

    Sounds delicious! Will try the recipe soon. Syrahs are very nice and it sounds like the two would work very well together to give the fortunate guest a royal treat!

    May 28, 2010 at 10:05 PM

  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 196,525

    dmcker, seriously, if you are ever in NYC and you don't look me up so we can get together, I would be insulted.

    My main goal these days is to perfect the traditional dishes of Italy and go region to region. The wine pairings I learn as I go. Where better a place to showcase these experiments than here on snooth? I truly appreciate your input.

    As for this wine pairing, I can't recommend it enough as a pairing or on its own. Stunning!

    May 28, 2010 at 10:19 PM

  • Please stop sending me e-mails to this address. unsubscribe me from your useless information that I do not wish to receive!!!!!!!
    Keith heppenstall

    May 29, 2010 at 7:33 AM

  • Snooth User: ESG101
    359459 1

    Calm down Keith....

    Jul 23, 2010 at 3:57 PM

  • Am I the only one missing something - what recipe - looks good but I can't see a recipe!!

    Jul 24, 2010 at 3:29 AM

  • Snooth User: Eric Guido
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    92549 196,525


    Sorry for the confusion.

    The article has 3 pages total, the recipe is on the second page.

    However, there's a downloadable PDF at

    Jul 24, 2010 at 6:52 AM

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