Dajaj bi-Zeitoon (Chicken and Olives)


Makes 18 – 20 qt.


  • 18# Bone-In Chicken Thighs
  • 12 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 12 Bay Leaves
  • 12 C. Frozen, Diced Onions
  • 2 TBSP. Ground Cardamom
  • 4 TBSP. Ground Allspice
  • 1 C. + 6 TBSP. Minced Garlic
  • 4 qt. Chicken Stock (can be made from Chicken Base)
  • 1 C. Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 C. Tapioca Flour
  • 6 TBSP Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 C. White Wine
  • 1 Gallon Sliced Green Olives (Drained Well)
  • 20 oz. Matchstick Carrots
  • Kosher Salt


  1. Evenly distribute 18# chicken thighs between two large stock pots.
  2. To EACH pot, add 6 cinnamon sticks, 6 bay leaves, 3 C. Onions, 1 TBSP Cardamom, 1 TBSP Allspice, and 3 TBSP Minced Garlic.
  3. Cover with cold water by an inch and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover pots, reduce heat to Medium-Low, and simmer until chicken easily falls off bones (approx 2-3 hours).
  5. Remove Chicken from pots and set aside to cool. Discard cooking liquid.
  6. When chicken is cool enough to handle, de-skin and de-bone chicken, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Place chicken in gallon-sized storage bags and chill.

Up to this point, can be done up to one day in advance. Can be done up to one week in advance if cooked chicken is frozen. Be sure to thaw cooked chicken prior to starting the next section.

  1. In a medium stock pot, bring Chicken Stock to a rolling simmer.
  2. In a large, straight-sided saute pan, saute remaining Onions in Canola oil until soft.
  3. Stir in Tapioca Flour, remaining Ground Cinnamon, remaining Ground Allspice, Black Pepper, and remaining Minced Garlic. Fry a few seconds, until fragrant.
  4. Stir in White Wine, de-glazing the pan, until the mixture comes together.
  5. Carefully stir in hot broth until well combined.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 -30 minutes, until the sauce just starts to thicken.
  7. Stir in Chicken, Green Olives, and Matchstick Carrots until well combined. Add salt to taste.
  8. Increase heat to Medium and cook until sauce has fully thickened.
  9. Transfer mixture to electric roaster and serve hot.


  • Adapted From:  Matar, Marlene. “Chicken and Olives: Dajaj bi-Zeitoon“. The Aleppo Cookbook. Northhampton: INTERLINK BOOKS, 2017. p. 129