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Recipe for :

Chicken Athena

This recipes comes from Dancer and Graphic artist Martin James. Martin, who originally comes from New Zealand, is now living with his wife and children in Copenhagen as he is currently principal Dancer with The Royal Danish Ballet. You will be able to find out more about Martin when his Biography page is published.

Being so gifted it seems unfair that Martin should also be talented in the kitchen as well but he has agreed to share some of his recipes with us which is great news.


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon aniseed, crushed
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup Ouzo, Pernod or Ricard
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
12 black, brine-cured olives, pitted
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

  • 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 tablespoons 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. Sprinkle feta cheese over and serve.

A favorite accompaniment is the rice-shaped pasta called orzo.

Serves 4

Martin James