Chicken Athena

"Found this recipe in Bon Appetit Too Busy to Cook. I don't always have aniseed and ouzo around but the combination is intoxicating! Great accompanied by orzo."
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Ready In:




  • Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Sauté chicken in batches if necessary until brown, about 5 minutes per side.
  • Transfer to plate.
  • Pour off all but 2 Tbs drippings from skillet.
  • Add garlic and aniseed and stir 30 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes, broth Ouzo and oregano.
  • Bring mixture to simmer, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon.
  • Return chicken to skillet.
  • Bring to simmer and cook uncovered 15 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken breasts to plate.
  • Turn chicken pieces in skillet over and simmer 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer chicken in skillet to same plate.
  • Increase heat to high, add olives and cook until liquid is reduced to sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat gently before continuing.) Sprinkle feta cheese over and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Good recipe - suggestion - add quartered fennel bulb to this recipe and there'll be no need to add ouzo - the bulb will supply the additional anise flavour as well as extra nutrition.
  2. When this recipe was first published in the mid-90's I remember making it. I remembered it enough that in my craving for Greek inspired dishes I went back to this recipe. I still love it and can't figure out why I haven't been making it all along. This time around I found a very high quality Ouzo that had more herbal notes to it. I wanted to up the anise flavor, so I sauteed two fennel bulbs in the chicken drippings before adding in the rest of the ingredients. I also used a can of crushed tomatoes, as opposed to whole. Then I tossed in a tbsp of the fennel fronds, plus a little pour of fresh lemon juice to freshen up the canned tomatoes. I also cooked mine longer overall until the chicken legs were just starting to pull away from the bone. It was delicious. We did an appetizer of saganaki, Chicago Greektown style. I spooned a little of the tomato sauce over it (there was a restaurant across from the International Terminal at O'Hare airport that used to do that - it was my treat every time I came home from college). Then we made some orzo cooked in chicken broth with some lemon and Greek oregano. It was a delicious meal. The chicken is definitely something you could double the batch size on, use for a dressed up Sunday dinner, and then have leftovers for the family for a good part of the week, Definitely recommend
  3. Very good! Suggestions of adding fennel or sambuca are interesting and I just might have to try them.
  4. This was incredible! I only made it to use some of the Pernod we have - otherwise we'll never finish it. The flavors were all perfectly balanced. I don't like licorice and was afraid that the anise and Pernod would be too strong for me. It wasn't - it was just awesome! We will make this until the bottle of Pernod is gone (which will be a sad day, but I'm not buying more).
  5. Really flavorful and smelled so good while cooking. I used Sambuca instead of ouzo and left out the aniseed as I didn't have any and was too lazy to go to the store. I don't think the recipe suffered a bit. Excellent!


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