One of my goals for 2012 is to help Solomon and Celia become more confident in the kitchen, not just making smoothies and baking cookies, but preparing a whole meal, like this Chicken Tricolore.  When the kids were younger, they were glad to work or play by my side in the kitchen. Now that they’re 14 and 12, they often have other priorities.

I want to be absolutely certain that when the kids leave our nest, they know how to plan, shop for, prepare and clean up from a meal so they can keep themselves nourished. Lately, I’ve been asking Solomon or Celia to be my kitchen assistant once a week (the other one gets to help me with the laundry instead.) Actually, I try to be their assistant, letting them choose the recipe, help me decide what to serve with it and when to start the side dish, and give their opinion on which ingredients to add along the way.

One thing I find when I cook with them is not only do they gain cooking confidence, but they are so much more eager to eat what we’ve prepared, as they take a lot of pride in their work. When I cook with kids, I ask them to smell and taste the ingredients along the way and I solicit their feedback on the flavors, making sure to ask them if we should ask more or less of a certain herb, and if the dish needs any sugar or honey, salt or an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to round out or boost the flavor.

It often amazes the kids how easy it actually is to make a delicious dinner. This chicken recipe is a terrific one to make with your kids because it is so easy, and it looks pretty and tastes delicious.  They’ll be very proud of their accomplishment.

For a traditional Italian dessert, try this gorgeous crostata all’Uva (grape jam tart) from my friend Domenica Marchetti.  Domenica is a journalist and talented cook, and the renowned author of several Italian cookbooks, including her most recent, The Glorious Pasta of Italy (Chronicle Books, 2011).

Do you like to cook with your kids? What would make you do it more often?

Making Chicken Tricolore

Recipe: Chicken Tricolore

  • Prep Time: 20 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 50 min(s)
  • Total Time: 70 min(s)
  • Servings: 6

A beautiful recipe to make (and eat) with kids!


    • 1 whole chicken, cut up (you can purchase a cut-up chicken), or 8-10 bone-in pieces of your choice
    • 3/4 cup pitted green olives, halved
    • 8 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 tsp. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
    • 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • ½ lemon (use 1 tsp. lemon zest and 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice)
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


    • (You can prepare the chicken up to a day in advance and bake it when needed.) Place the chicken in a baking dish large enough to fit the pieces in a single layer, skin side up. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon the mixture evenly over the chicken.
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the chicken, uncovered and without flipping it, for 45 minutes, or until the breasts are cooked through. Then put it under the broiler for an additional 5 minutes until the skins are browned. (Note: If the breasts [white meat] are done before the thighs and legs [dark meat], you can remove the white meat from the pan and continue to cook the dark meat for about 10 more minutes.)

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3 Responses to “Chicken Tricolore”

  1. Ann Shannon

    I can’t wait to try this recipe as a vegan, using soy curls (soaked in vegetarian chicken flavored broth) instead of chicken! Looks scrumptuous!

    • Ann Shannon

      I did make a Vegan version of this recipe and it was beautiful and delicious. A lovely main dish for company. Soy Curls are available in bulk at Whole Foods and New Seasons (in Portland OR). Simple pour boiling water almost to level of soy curls in a bowl. Add 1 T/ veggie chicken flavored broth powder per cup of water, let sit 10 min. to absorb moisture, then saute the now-chicken strip looking pieces of soy curls in a bit of olive oil and add a few tablespoons of Nutritional Brewers Yeast while sauteing. Saute til slightly golden, stirring frequently to prevent too much sticking. Then follow recipe above.