Julia's One-Pan Saffron Chicken With Potatoes + Olives

If there’s one thing to look forward to in winter, it’s heartwarming (and stomach warming) meals, packed with flavour. And, if they’re a one-pan recipe, that’s even better!

Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s fragrant saffron chicken cooked in a jus with potatoes and olives is one such dinner — and we just know it’s going to be in high rotation this season. Find the recipe below.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Sarah Hendriks

One-pan saffron chicken with potatoes and olives, served with a red onion and sumac salad.

It’s the kind of dinner you can quickly pop in the oven and forget about until it’s time to serve.

This salad is inspired by Biwaz, a Syrian parsley and onion salad often served with grilled meats.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Sarah Hendriks

19th of April 2024

One-pan dishes are truly heroes in the kitchen. Less washing up, more flavour and often not a lot of hands-on cooking time.

Here, it’s a fragrant chicken dish with potatoes, saffron and olives. The lemon permeates through the whole dish too and the result is a bright and gloriously-hued dinner.

The trick to this dish is getting the potatoes just cooked (no need for crunchy potatoes here) at the same time as the chicken.

I like to serve this with red onion and sumac salad, adding some more lemony zing to the dish which cuts through the richness of the chicken. This salad is inspired by Biwaz, a Syrian parsley and onion salad often served with grilled meats.

Serve with some warmed flatbreads. This is my perfect meal and a dish that is sure to be on high rotation!

Warmed flatbreads are the perfect accompaniment to soak up all the juices!

The trick to this dish is getting the potatoes just cooked, at the same as the chicken.

This easy-to-make, one-pan dish is sure to be on high rotation.

One-Pan Saffron Chicken With Potatoes + Olives

(Serves 4-6) 

1kg chicken thighs, skin on, bone in (around 8 pieces)
Sea salt, for seasoning
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50ml dry white wine
500g désirée potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
100ml chicken stock
100ml lemon juice
Pinch of saffron threads
2 garlic cloves, crushed with the side of a knife
60g green olives

Red onion and sumac salad

2 red onions, halved and sliced
2 tsp sumac
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 bunch parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste

Warmed flatbread, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180°C (200°C conventional).

Season the chicken well with salt and set aside.

In a large oven safe frying pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, skin side down until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the wine and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift any brown bits. Turn off the heat.

Arrange the potatoes in the base of the pan and pour over the chicken stock and lemon juice. Add the saffron, garlic and olives and ensure they are evenly distributed. Season with a little salt and return the chicken to the pan, nestling it in and around the potatoes.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. If the potatoes aren’t ready yet, remove the chicken, keep warm, and return the potatoes to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, for the salad, combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl, using your hands to scrunch everything into the onions. Season to taste.

Serve the chicken and potatoes with the onion salad and plenty of flatbread to mop up all of the juices.

What else I’m cooking: Radicchio becomes a staple in my kitchen for the next few months as it comes into season and the first thing I’ve already made with it was a lovely salad of figs, butter beans and goat’s cheese.

What else I’m eating: Masses Bagels at the Carlton Farmers Market!

Recent Food