Donald Link's Braised Chicken With Salami & Olives

February 12, 2019
34 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

As much as plain old salt is crucial for bringing out other flavors, there are even more powerful forms we could be taking better advantage of—not pricey infused salts, but the basic bottles and bags of ingredients we have hanging around that have already spent time mingling with salt and taking on new funky dimensions—here it's salami and green olives, but it could just as easily be bacon, pickles, miso, and so on. Adapted slightly from Down South (Clarkson Potter, 2014) via the New York Times. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Donald Link's Braised Chicken With Salami & Olives
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (a mix of legs and/or thighs also works well)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 rosemary branch (about 8 inches)
  • 1 1/4 cups diced salami
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, rinsed and cut in half (try to find firm, not-too-salty olives like Picholine or Castelvetrano)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sear the chicken in 2 batches until golden brown, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or another large, shallow casserole.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook in the rendered chicken fat until brown, stirring, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, fennel, rosemary branch, salami, olives, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Pour in the wine and simmer to reduce, scraping the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, until caramelized. Add flour and cook, stirring to incorporate, for another 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth in batches and stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves and lemon juice.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish and roast in the oven, basting every 30 minutes, until the chicken is very tender and the sauce is reduced but isn't drying out, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Serve chicken warm, with plenty of sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Megan
  • ellemmbee
  • ifjuly
  • Lisa Owens
    Lisa Owens
  • Steve
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

39 Reviews

derekdenson February 8, 2021
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NXL September 15, 2020
This is so comforting and delicious. My curb-side shopper gave us sliced salami instead of chunk, but chopped into smaller pieces seemed to work just fine. Served over smashed potatoes the salt level seemed perfect. Next time I might play with the fat to make it a little healthier.
Lisa L. February 18, 2020
House smelled like a wonderful Italian restaurant..still does. I loved everything about the recipe, but, although I love salty food, this neared the border of too salty. Maybe salt chicken more lightly next time. Flavors are amazing. Mine needed only 1 hour in the oven; was getting too brown even tho I basted & then turned to prevent burning.
Megan January 29, 2020
This was really really good. I used boneless skinless thighs which I think cut down on the cooking time a bit. So simple to put together. I like dishes that can be prepped as you're cooking them. I was able to do this on a weeknight when I got home a little earlier than usual. Served with mashed potatoes. So good!
Brian January 18, 2020
Simply amazing!
Sauce was luscious even before the bake. Served with grits. Definitely needs an accompaniment that can soak or mop up the sauce. Bread, mashed potatoes, maybe rice?
It totally reminds me of another dish that is a regular in my rotation:
Very similar ideas but this is just such a whole other level. Definitely making again for a small dinner party. Thanks for sharing!
Debbie M. January 7, 2020
ellemmbee January 6, 2020
Made this with six bone in skin on thighs (2lbs) for two of us. It was absolutely delicious. Followed the recipe precisely. We ate half one night and the rest two days later. It was even better - falling off the bone moist chicken and delicious sauce. Served it on Bob’s Red Mill polenta with a side of haricots verts. Truly memorable and will be a recipe for special occasions.
Leslie V. January 3, 2020
What did you serve under the chicken? Also any idea what I can sub for tomato paste? I know it would change the whole depth but I cannot eat anything tomato. Thanks.
Misfitwife January 3, 2020
I served it over mashed potatoes because I happened to have an abundance at the time. Not sure what to suggest for the tomato paste substitution because it does pull it all together. Hopefully someone else has an idea for you.
Leslie V. January 4, 2020
Thank you. One of the hardest cooking problems is my elimination of Tomato (s). I do cook with them for husband and guests and prepare a dish for me with out. Italian and Mexican foods are such a is hard. I also cannot have heat spice, Citrus either. While I serve homemade pizzas the normal way for them, I use a Bobobi crust, make one with brie cheese, into the oven to bake and melt, then add in season fresh nectarines and fresh torn basil leaves. Off season, a plain white pizza sauce, bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar and mozz cheese. and fresh basil. The above recipe looks like grits under..which would be good but no mention .
Marilyn December 28, 2019
I loved this recipe. Can I make it ahead of time?
Matt N. December 29, 2019
You can certainly make the sauce in advance. I see no reason why you couldn't pre-bake the whole think and simply re-heat it in a slow oven.
Laurie March 15, 2019
I made this even though my wife doesn't like salami or olives but she loves chicken, so I thought she would just pick out what she didn't like, ate everything and even had a second bowl. It was also the first time I had made polenta. Will definitely be making again, Thanks for the recipe>
ifjuly March 11, 2019
Loved this, and while it takes a long time to cook (gotta love a nice long oven braise, mm!) putting it together is surprisingly simple. Thank you for posting it! Used soppressata instead of salami as I had some that needed using up, and did the whole thing in an enameled dutch oven. The only thing I'd do differently is seasoning the chicken with less salt as the olives (even rinsed) and sausage are plenty salty already. Wonderful dinner and now that I've made it I can see how polenta is the perfect accompaniment, will listen and make some to go with it next time.
Matt N. March 6, 2019
This recipe is not from Donald Link's "Real Cajun" published in 2009. It's from his cookbook "Down South" published in 2014, also by Clarkson Potter.
Kristen M. March 6, 2019
Hey Matt, thank you for catching that—I just updated the credit and link to Down South above.
Lisa O. February 21, 2019
This is super tasty! I made this with Boneless skinless chicken thighs on a snowy day with my boyfriend. Yummy! I'll definitely make this again!
Steve February 20, 2019
When I watched the video I thought even a hack cook like me can do this. I can’t tell you how wonderful it came out. I would confidently serve this to company. A true saver. Thank you so much.
Nancy G. February 20, 2019
Looks delicious and relatively easy!
Barbra F. February 19, 2019
This was amazing, I could eat this sauce on bread with no chicken. Made it in a deep 12 inch Scanpan skillet and it turned out brilliant. Thank you for sharing this recipe my whole family loved it❤️
Misfitwife February 19, 2019
Made this recipe over the weekend and it is amazing! The sauce is addicting and am thinking it would even be good with pork tenderloin. The only adjustment I made was using boneless chicken. I was also baking some plain chicken for those with dietary restrictions so I seared those skin-on, bone-in pieces in my pan first to get the rendered chicken fat. I know the boneless chicken doesn't impart as much to the dish, but I like using boneless in dishes being served in sauce. It was still delicious and the layers of flavor melded into a rich, velvety, flavorful dish. Definitely a keeper...and one I can't wait to make again for friends!
Texas E. February 18, 2019
Wow. Fantastic recipe. I recommend you trust Kristen and make this. Don't be put off by olives or salami, since they do not in any way dominate the dish.
Oven time was an hour, and that was the my only modification.
Tip: Check the size of your baking dish carefully, since that will influence the end result. I used a relatively shallow 9 x 13 baking dish.
Lisa O. February 21, 2019
Chanel February 13, 2019
What about with chicken breasts? I don’t want to cut up a whole chicken and usually use pounded chicken breasts. Boneless and skinless. Would that work?
Kristen M. February 15, 2019
I'm partial to bone-in, skin-on chicken, both for flavor and to protect the meat from drying out. And just buying thighs and legs will definitely work great here, rather than cutting up the whole chicken. But it sounds like others have made it with boneless, skinless breasts and thighs and been happy, if that's your preference. If I was cooking only breasts, I'd do it for much less time, not long past when they're cooked through, to keep them from drying out.
Brian February 13, 2019
Any tips on what type of salami to use? A hard stick or a softer Genoa?
Kristen M. February 13, 2019
Hard salami, not pre-sliced—just something from the grocery store (that you like the flavor of) will be great.
Matt N. March 12, 2019
As another poster noted, soppressata works really well -- sweet, hot, whatever -- and certainly looks more like what was added in the video. I had a link of some smoked spicy sausage in the fridge, chopped it up into quarters, and added it to the Genoa salami slabs I picked up at a deli.