A fabulous braised chicken dish

Here we begin with the original version from Mark Bittman’s instructions:

bittman chicken

Ingredient list:

Chicken breast, tomatoes, lemons, capers, olives, olive oil and basil


  • Heat oven to 220 C. Combine 2 or 3 chopped tomatoes, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon capers and a handful of olives.
  • Lightly grease the pan with olive oil, then put the chicken in the pan and pour the tomato mixture over it.
  • Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  • Garnish: Chopped basil.


But suggest you extend the cooking and ingredients a little further with our adapted version

  1. Organic chicken leg and thigh (one piece per person)
  2. green olives (2-3 per piece  per portion)
  3. capers (1 table spoon per portion)
  4. cherry tomatoes (3-4 per piece per portion)
  5. chicken stock (one pack for 2-3 persons)
  6. lemon (1 piece) use half for 2-3 portions
  7. white wine (1/2 to 1 cup)
  8. sea salt
  9. pepper
  10. extra virgin olive oil


  1. Rub chicken with lots of olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper
  2. chop the capers
  3. chop the olives
  4. slice the cherry tomato without halving them
  5. Squeeze lemon juice into small bowl
  6.  Utensils you will need include a deep pan with lid or better cask iron casserole, dutch oven; you will need a thong, spatula, large spoon

Step 1

  1. Heat the pan to high heat; (ideally use one that is deep with a lid or use a cask iron casserole, dutch oven; hot is when a few drops of water sizzles quickly)
  2. Place the morsels skin-side down; it takes 3-4 minutes to brown (crispy), move gently so that the skin does not stick to pan (ref video here)
  3. Turn the morsels and move gentle for another 3-4 minutes
  4. (if you more pieces than the pan can fit; remove the first batch to rest and start again)

Step 2

  1. with the chicken in the pan, pour the stock, add the olives, capers and tomatoes
  2. reduce heat to simmer
  3. add 0.5 to 1 cup white wine
  4. make sure the liquid covers half of the thighs, not covering the skin
  5. season with lemon juice
  6. Close the lid almost entirely
  7. This slow braising will take roughly 45 min depending the size of the morsels
  8. If the liquid is evaporating you have two options. Either add more stock if the sauce needs more intensity or add pure water
  9. Check on liquids every once in a while and move the morsels around a little with a spoon
  10. Towards the end of cooking time, you can poke a sharp knife into thickest part of the leg, next to the bone and see if any blood is coming out; if the liquid is clear, the chicken is fully cooked. (Below photo is pan roasted in the oven; Bittman’s version)

bake chicken

Side dish

We enjoy eating this with any kind of salad and also sweet potatoes. Some grown here will do just fine, otherwise pick from Japan or the US.

  1. Poke the entire sweet potato with a fork
  2. Place in oven for 45-60 min at 180C
  3. When almost done the sugars on the skin start to caramelize
  4. Ready when sharp knife pokes in all the way
  5. Slice in half

sweet patoto

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