Pesto-Kissed Chicken and Olive Stew


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 bone-in chicken breasts with skin, trimmed
  • 1 cup fennel, diced
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes in sauce
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup California Ripe Olives, drained and halved
  • 1 (13 oz.) can navy or small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 tablespoons prepared basil pesto


Heat the oil in a heavy 7 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and add to the pot, skin side down. Brown breasts for 5-7 minutes until skin is caramelized, turning to brown on all sides. Add the fennel, onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary and saute until vegetables are translucent, about 5-minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in flour until it turns slightly brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, tomato paste and bay leaves. Bring to boil, then simmer for 25 minutes, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool to a workable temperature. Remove skin and bones and pull chicken into bite-sized pieces, then return to pot. Add olives and beans and continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Ladle soup into serving bowls and drizzle with one tablespoon prepared basil pesto. Serve immediately.